David H. Petraeus, the former CIA director and retired four-star Army general, admitted Tuesday that he gave eight handwritten journals containing highly classified information about secret operations and identities of covert officers to his mistress in 2011 and then lied about it to the FBI.
Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of retaining classified information. Prosecutors agreed not to charge him with more serious crimes, such as obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI, the Justice Department announced.
Hillary Clinton’s email track record should disqualify her from receiving access to classified information or briefings when she becomes the Democratic nominee for president, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wrote to the director of National Intelligence on Thursday.
“It would send the wrong signal to all those charged with safeguarding our nation’s secrets if you choose to provide her access to this information despite the FBI’s findings,” Ryan wrote in a letter to Director James Clapper. “I firmly believe this is necessary to reassure the public that our nation’s secrets are secure.”
In announcing Tuesday that the FBI wasn’t recommending charges be brought in the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State, Director James Comey called her actions “extremely careless” and said they might be punishable with “security or administrative sanctions” under other circumstances. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that the investigation was closed.
In the span of a few days, the campaigns of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have each stumbled over flaws in the candidates that could mar the presidency of whichever one wins in November.
For Trump, the publication over the Fourth of July weekend of a tweet using anti-Semitic imagery underscored his willingness to use bigoted characterizations to advance his political career. His statements since, including denying the tweet’s connections to a white supremacist website, highlighted his repeated and documented use of falsehoods to push his case.
For Clinton, the blunt critique from FBI Director James B. Comey, who on Tuesday called her recklessly sloppy when it came to classified emails she handled as secretary of State, demonstrated anew that Clinton seeks to avoid scrutiny even when doing so skirts the law. The email episode also showed that Clinton had no one in her inner circle — at least at that time — with the standing to dissuade her when her instincts erred.