David Petraeus, the former CIA Director and top Army General may be facing felony charges, but he has plenty of supporters in Washington. Today, after news broke last week that the Justice Department is recommending charges against Petraeus, many lawmakers are voicing their support for the former General.
Petraeus was the man who led U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan under Presidents George W. Bush and President Obama. During that time, it is alleged that he had an affair with Paula Broadwell, the woman who was writing his biography. Officials are alleging that during said affair, Petraeus allowed Broadwell to access classified government documents, prompting the call for charges.
According to this report from CNN, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a top Democrat in the U.S. Senate and former chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is one of the lawmakers spearheading the public defense of Petraeus.
“This man has suffered enough in my view,” Feinstein told CNN. “It’s done, it’s over. He’s retired. He lost his job. I mean, how much does the government want?” Feinstein continued.
It’s not only Democrats coming to Petraeus’ defense. GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain have also spoke out against the possible upcoming charges. According to this report on Fox News, the senators admitted that all of the facts from the investigation are not yet known, but they feel the investigation has been mishandled.
In a join public statement, obtained by MSNBC, McCain and Graham said “It is outrageous that the highly confidential and law-enforcement-sensitive recommendation of prosecutors to bring charges against General Petraeus was leaked to the New York Times. It is a shameful continuation of a pattern in which leaks by unnamed sources have marred this investigation in contravention to fundamental fairness… No American deserves such callous treatment, let alone one of America’s finest military leaders.”
Petraeus has denied the allegations that he allowed Broadwell access to classified documents. Fox News reports that he is also not interested in any sort of plea deal. Ultimately, Attorney General Eric Holder will be the final decision maker when it comes to whether or not to charges Petraeus.
When asked by reporters whether the charges against Petraeus would be pursued, or if they would be felony charges, Holder avoided the question. Instead, he told reporters “Any investigation will be done in a fair and appropriate way.”