Attorney General Eric Holder Defends Probe of General David Petraeus

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Washington D.C.

While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to discuss the case too deeply, he did insist that the FBI and Justice Department probe of General David Petraeus was conducted appropriately.

On Friday, many sources reported that the two agencies had looked into charges that the one-time general of America’s military forces and chief of the CIA had released classified information to a biographer with whom he was also having an affair.

The FBI found grounds to charge Petraeus for divulging the classified information while he was the head of the CIA. Both biographer Paula Broadwell and Petraeus deny the charges. Regardless, the General resigned from the CIA in 2012 after the charges were first made public.

Now, the Attorney General will be tasked with deciding if Petraeus will be officially charged with the leaks.

Over the weekend, Holder refused to comment on the case. “I don’t want to comment on what is an ongoing matter,” Holder told CNN Sunday. “I will say that frequently those things that are leaked to the media are done by people who are not in the position of know and are frequently inaccurate.”

But two senators, one Democrat and one Republican, stood up for Petraeus, essentially demanding that the federal government leave the General alone.

Arizona Republican John McCain insisted that Petraeus deserves “better treatment” from the government. “He may have saved thousands of young Americans’ lives,” he said.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein agreed: Petraeus should not be indicted. “This man has suffered enough in my view,” Feinstein said on CNN’s State of the Union. “People aren’t perfect. He made a mistake. He lost his job as CIA director because of it. How much do you want to punish somebody?”

Still, on CBS’ Face the Nation, Holder said that the issue was “a matter of this magnitude” that would be decided “at the highest level” of the Department of Justice.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at