The Petraeus scandal: A timeline

Posted at 11/13/12 1:54 AM

WASHINGTON - US lawmakers are demanding to know who knew what and when about the investigation that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus after his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell.

Here is a chronology of the key events as reported at this point:

(The information comes from Broadwell's biography and from anonymous law enforcement officials cited by The New York Times and The Washington Post)

2006: Counter-terrorism expert Paula Broadwell, a former army major, first meets Petraeus when he speaks at Harvard University. He hands her his card and offers his help when she tells him about her research interests.

2008: Broadwell, who has made her dissertation a case study on Petraeus's leadership, is invited to join him for a run along the Potomac River in Washington. She later credits her access as being because they are both runners and graduates of West Point.

June 2010: Congress confirms Petraeus as the next commander of US forces in Afghanistan. Broadwell decides to turn her dissertation into a full-on biography.

2010-11: Broadwell makes multiple trips to Afghanistan, with unprecedented access to Petraeus.

September 2011: Petraeus, the most celebrated American general of his generation credited with turning around the war in Iraq, becomes CIA director after leaving the military and becoming a civilian in August.

November 2011: Friends say this is when Petraeus's affair with Broadwell, a 40-year-old married mother of two, began. Petraeus, 60, has been married to wife Holly since 1974 and they have two adult children.

Early summer 2012: Jill Kelley, a longstanding friend of Petraeus, visits the FBI's Tampa office and provides investigators with anonymous emails accusing her of seeking an intimate relationship with Petraeus.

Mid-summer 2012: According to friends, this is when Petraeus said he ended the affair.

Over the summer: Broadwell is identified as the sender and in accessing her email accounts FBI investigators discover intimate correspondence between her and Petraeus.

Late summer: High-level officials at the FBI and the Justice Department are notified that investigators have uncovered what appears to be an extra-marital affair between Petraeus and Broadwell.

October 21-27: During this week, FBI agents first interview Broadwell and she acknowledges the affair and gives up her computer. Investigators find classified documents on her hard drive, raising the additional question of whether Petraeus had given them to her. She tells them he did not.

October 28-November 3: During this week, Petraeus is interviewed for the first time and says he did not give Broadwell the classified documents.

October 31: The FBI agent and friend of Kelley who helped get the preliminary investigation started becomes frustrated and alerts the office of Eric Cantor, the House majority leader. Cantor, a leading Republican opponent of President Barack Obama, passes on the concerns to FBI director Robert Mueller.

November 2: Broadwell is interviewed again by the FBI, according to the New York Times. Investigators conclude there is no evidence that Petraeus committed any crime and tentatively rule out charges.

Tuesday, November 6 (ELECTION DAY): James Clapper, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, is informed of the investigation at 5:00 pm. Clapper calls Petraeus that night and advises him to resign.

Wednesday: Clapper informs the White House.

Thursday morning: Obama is informed by White House staff.

Thursday afternoon: Petraeus offers Obama his resignation.

Friday morning: Obama accepts Petraeus's resignation.

This Thursday: Petraeus had been due to testify in Congress in hearings examining the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Libya that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. Acting CIA director Michael Morrell will testify in his place although Petraeus may be called at a later date.