Petraeus Reaches Plea Deal With Justice Dept Over Classified Data Leaks

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Washington, DC

Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus reached a deal with the Department of Justice in which he will plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

If a federal court agrees with the terms of the deal, Petraeus will avoid trial and a potential jail sentence.

The retired four-star general’s prestigious military career has been overshadowed by charges that he provided classified data to his mistress, former Army reservist Paula Broadwell.

Prior to the plea deal, Petraeus was facing a maximum possible punishment that includes a fine of $100,000 and a one-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors agreed, under the plea deal, that the general should serve two years of probation and pay a fine of $40,000.

The plea agreement along with several other court documents were filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in North Carolina.

“The criminal Information charges the defendant with one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1924,” Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said in a statement. “The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal Information.”

Sandy Berger, former national security adviser, and John Deutsch, former CIA director, both pleaded guilty to similar offenses in the past.

According to court documents, Petraeus did provide classified and sensitive data in the form of a “Black book” to his biographer and mistress Broadwell.

As a commander of the U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus collected “bound, 5-by-8-inch notebooks [with black covers] that contained his daily schedule and classified and unclassified notes.”

Petraeus was not supposed to hold on to information contained in the notebooks.

The court documents say Petraeus lied to FBI agents about providing the black books to Broadwell and that he gave false statements when he left the CIA in 2012 that he did not posses classified information.

Court documents say the FBI found the black books in Petraeus’ home in Arlington,Va. when executing a search warrant in April 2013.

After federal prosecutors recommended charges against Petraeus in January, it was up to Attorney General Eric Holder’s discretion to pursue a criminal case against the decorated veteran.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.