David H. Petraeus, who as a general and onetime head of the CIA conquered foes as he strode across the world stage, on Thursday received probation and a larger fine than expected for illegally giving classified materials to his former lover, who was also his biographer.
Petraeus entered a guilty plea in a federal court in Charlotte, N.C., admitting that he had taken classified material and had lied to the FBI and CIA about how he had handled the secret files. He had made the material available to his lover, Paula Broadwell.
“Petraeus was sentenced to a two-year probationary term and was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine,” acting U.S. Atty. Jill Westmoreland Rose told reporters outside the courthouse. Prosecutors had recommended that Petraeus receive probation and a $40,000 fine.
In brief televised comments to reporters, Petraeus made mention of the larger-than-expected fine and thanked those who had supported him during his fall from public position.
“I am looking forward to moving on with the next phase of my life and continuing to serve our great nation as a private citizen,” Petraeus said. He took no questions.
Petraeus is a former four-star Army general who was the top commander in Afghanistan and Iraq. President George W. Bush picked him to command the multinational forces in Iraq in 2007, during which a “surge” of additional U.S. troops was deployed.
In that effort, the U.S. sent 20,000 more troops into Iraq and extended the tour of most of the soldiers and Marines already in the country. In addition to the added forces, money and resources were sent to Iraqi militias to help fight Sunni Muslim militants.
The value of the strategy has been a hotly debated partisan issue in the U.S. Many argue that the troop buildup was the reason that the war in Iraq began to turn in the United States' favor.
In 2011, Broadwell, a former soldier, began work on Petraeus’ biography, written with ghostwriter and journalist Vernon Loeb and titled “All In: The Education of David Petraeus.” The book was published in 2012, before her affair with Petraeus became public.
Prosecutors have said Petraeus gave Broadwell eight binders of classified material he had improperly kept from his time as the top military commander in Afghanistan. Days later, he took the binders back to his house.
As part of the plea agreement, Petraeus acknowledged giving the binders to Broadwell.
The secret information included the names of covert operatives, the war strategy and notes about Petraeus' discussions with President Obama.
Those binders were seized by the FBI in April 2013 during a search of Petraeus' Arlington, Va., home.
Prosecutors said Petraeus had signed a form falsely attesting that he had no classified material and that he had lied to the FBI when he denied giving Broadwell information.