"Screwed up terribly" ... General David Petraeus. Photo: AFP
WASHINGTON: The inspector-general of the Central Intelligence Agency has started an investigation into the general conduct of David Petraeus, who resigned last week as the CIA's director after admitting to having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
The inquiry will focus largely on whether General Petraeus used the trappings of his position, including security details, private jets and special accommodation, to carry out the affair, sources said.
There is no evidence to suggest General Petraeus did so, agency officials said. "An investigation is exploratory and doesn't presuppose any particular outcome," a CIA spokesman said.
On Thursday General Petraeus admitted he had "screwed up terribly" by having the affair. He regretted the liaison but insisted he did not pass on classified intelligence.
Describing his wife, Holly, as "far better" than he deserved, he told a TV journalist, Kyra Phillips, he was guilty of a "personal failing" and had "engaged in something dishonourable". "He sought to do the honourable thing in response," Phillips said.
The retired four-star general rejected conspiracy theories his downfall was engineered to prevent him disclosing details of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11 that could be damaging to the President, Barack Obama.
General Petraeus, who has not been seen in public since his resignation a week ago, was due to testify on Friday to congressmen investigating the attack. "He said this has nothing to do with Benghazi, and he wants to testify," Phillips said.
Fears General Petraeus had briefed Ms Broadwell on secret details of the Benghazi assault were spawned by the emergence of footage of a speech in which she said the attackers had been attempting to spring Libyan radicals from a makeshift CIA jail. Authorities said this was not true and that she had misinterpreted media reports.
General Petraeus told Phillips since news of the liaison emerged, he had not spoken to Ms Broadwell.
The New York Times; Telegraph, London