A trail from e-mails sent by the biographer for the C.I.A.
director, David H. Petraeus, led the F.B.I. to uncover his
extramarital affair with the biographer, as well as to classified
High-level officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer that F.B.I. agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair involving the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, government officials said Sunday.
But law enforcement officials did not notify anyone outside the F.B.I. or the Justice Department until last week because the investigation was incomplete and because initial concerns about possible security breaches, which would demand more immediate action, did not appear to be justified, the officials said.
The new accounts of the events that led to Mr. Petraeus's sudden resignation on Friday shed light on the competing pressures facing F.B.I. agents who recognized the high stakes of any investigation involving the C.I.A. director but who were wary of exposing a private affair with no criminal or security implications. For the first time Sunday, the woman whose report of harassing e-mails led to the exposure of the affair was identified as Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa, Florida.
Some members of Congress have protested the delay in being notified of the F.B.I.'s investigation of Mr. Petraeus until just after the presidential election. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that her committee would "absolutely" demand an explanation. An F.B.I. case involving the C.I.A. director "could have had an effect on national security," she said on Fox News television. "I think we should have been told."
But the bureau's history would make the privacy question especially significant; in his long reign as the F.B.I.'s first director, J. Edgar Hoover sometimes directed agents to spy improperly on the sex lives of public figures and then used the resulting information to pressure or blackmail them.
Law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the investigation, defended the F.B.I.'s handling of the case. "There are a lot of sensitivities in a case like this," said a senior law enforcement official. "There were hints of possible intelligence and security issues, but they were unproven. You constantly ask yourself, 'What are the notification requirements? What are the privacy issues?"'
A close friend of the Petraeus family said Sunday that the intimate relationship between Mr. Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, began after he retired from the military last year and about two months after he started as C.I.A. director. It ended about four months ago, said the friend, who did not want to be identified while discussing personal matters. In a letter to the C.I.A. work force on Friday, Mr. Petraeus acknowledged having the affair. Ms. Broadwell has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
Under military regulations, adultery can be a crime. At the C.I.A., it can be a security issue, since it can make an intelligence officer vulnerable to blackmail, but it is not a crime.
On Sunday, the same Petraeus family friend confirmed the identity of Ms. Kelley, whose complaint to the F.B.I. about "harassing" e-
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