CIA investigates Petraeus as former spy chief testifies about Benghazi attack on Capitol Hill


CIA Director David Petraeus resigned last week after an affair with Paula Broadwell came to light. The affair was uncovered when threatening emails from Broadwell were reportedly sent to Petraeus' family friend Jill Kelley.



Former CIA Director testified on Friday in front of the House and Senate intelligence committees on the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

According to ABC News, Petraeus, who resigned last week over an extramarital affair, testified for 90 minutes in front of the House Intelligence Committee, before moving on to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Separately, investigators are also trying to determine if Petraeus used any agency resources to carry out his affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. A US official told CNN that the CIA is investigating Petraeus' "general conduct." The CIA itself has now opened an exploratory investigation into Petraeus.

"At the CIA, we are constantly reviewing our performance. If there are lessons to be learned from this case, we'll use them to improve," was the official response from CIA spokesman Preston Golson. "But we're not getting ahead of ourselves; an investigation is exploratory and doesn't presuppose any particular outcome."

Petraeus had traveled to Libya last month and carried out his own investigation after the attack in Benghazi, which prompted both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to insist that he testify, despite resigning his position as CIA Director.

House Committee chairman Rep. Peter King said that Petraeus' testimony "will all be classified other than it was clear it did not arise from a demonstration and it was a terror attack," according to ABC News.

"This is a good thing for the country and for the CIA and for Petraeus personally," said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House committee, on Thursday, about Petraeus testifying. However, The Wall Street Journal noted that other lawmakers are skeptical about how much new information will be discovered through Petraeus' testimony.

More on GlobalPost: Benghazi hearing: Capitol Hill probe begins

The Journal said that this was Petraeus first public appearance after news of his extramarital affair, but he managed to elude reporters with the help of the Capitol police, who blocked halls and passages.

"Taking advantage of the visitor center’s multiple public entrances, underground tunnels and loading docks, the former military commander and spy chief appeared to elude dozens of reporters, photographers and video crews who had taken up positions across the Capitol complex," said The Washington Post.

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