Holly Petraeus Is Beyond 'Furious' By MARTHA RADDATZ | ABC OTUS News 9 hrs ago
Email Share15 Print
ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 18: Holly Petraeus, assistant director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, speaks during a news briefing October 18, 2012 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The Pentagon held a briefing on efforts to enhance the financial health of the force. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Enlarge Photo
Getty Images/Getty Images - ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 18: Holly Petraeus, assistant director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, speaks during a news briefing more
Petraeus Affair: Military Can Prosecute Adulterers (ABC News)Enlarge Photo
Petraeus Affair: Military Can Prosecute
Fury is an inadequate description for Holly Petraeus' reaction after she learned that her CIA-director husband had an affair with his biographer, a former spokesman for David Petraeus told ABC News.
"Well, as you can imagine, she's not exactly pleased right now," retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Boylan said. "In a conversation with David Petraeus this weekend, he said that, 'Furious would be an understatement.' And I think anyone that's been put in that situation would probably agree. He deeply hurt the family."
As for Petraeus, the retired Army general who resigned as CIA director last week after admitting the extramarital relationship, he, "first of all, deeply regrets and knows how much pain this has caused his family," Boylan added.
"He had a huge job and he felt he was doing great work and that is all gone now."
Petraeus knows "this was poor judgment on his part. It was a colossal mistake. ... He's acknowledged that," Boylan said.
One result is that Petraeus could possibly face military prosecution for adultery if officials turn up any evidence to counter his apparent claims that the affair began after he left the military.
But Boylan says the affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, both of whom are married, began several months after his retirement from the Army in August 2011 and ended four months ago.
Broadwell, 40, had extraordinary access to the 60-year-old general during six trips she took to Afghanistan as his official biographer, a plum assignment for a novice writer.
"For him to allow the very first biography to be written about him, to be written by someone who had never written a book before, seemed very odd to me," former Petraeus aide Peter Mansoor told ABC News.
The timeline of the relationship, according to Patraeus, would mean that he was carrying on the affair for the majority of his tenure at the CIA, where he began as director Sept. 6, 2011. If he carried on the affair while serving in the Army, however, Patraeus could face charges, according to Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which reprimands conduct "of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces."
Whether the military would pursue such action, whatever evidence it accumulates, is unclear.
As the details of the investigation launched by the FBI unraveled this weekend, it became clear that the woman at the heart of the inquiry that led to Petraeus' downfall had been identified as Jill Kelley, a Florida woman who volunteers to help the military. She is a family friend of Petraeus, who Broadwell apparently felt threatened by.
Kelley and her husband are longtime supporters of the military, and six months ago she was named "Honorary Ambassador to Central Command" for her volunteer work with the military. Officials say Kelley is not romantically linked to Petraeus, but befriended the general and his wife when he was stationed in Florida. The Kelleys spent Christmases in group settings with the Petraeuses and visited them in Washington D.C., where Kelley's sister and her son live.
"We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years." Kelley said in a statement Sunday. "We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children."
Earlier this year, around the time that Petraeus and Broadwell were breaking off their affair, Kelley began receiving anonymous emails, which she found so threatening she went to authorities. The FBI traced the messages to Broadwell's computer, where they found other salacious and explicit emails between Broadwell and Petraeus that made it clear to officials that the two were carrying on an affair.
Investigators uncovered no compromising of classified information or criminal activity, sources familiar with the probe said, adding that all that was found was a lot of "human drama."
Broadwell, a married mother of two, had access to Petraeus while she was with him in Afghanistan as his official biographer. People close to the general had previously suspected Broadwell's feelings for him had crossed a professional line.
They found Broadwell, who spent a year embedded with Petraeus in Afghanistan, to be embarrassing and far too "gushy" about him. They said to one another they thought Broadwell "was in love with him," sources told ABC News.
Petraeus is said to have been the one to have broken off the extramarital affair.
His storied career, first as the public face of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later as director of the CIA, came crashing down Friday when he announced his resignation from the intelligence agency, citing the indiscretion.