The Slatest

A Running Tab on the Drip, Drip, Drip of the Petraeus Affair: Socialite Visited White House

Jill Kelley leaves her home on November 13, 2012 in Tampa,

Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images.

Thanks to the general nature of the Web and Twitter, the ongoing story of what we’re going to call the David Petraeus Scandal (for a lack of a better name) is spilling out in increments, a not-so-slow drip, drip, drip in the form of scoops and scoop-lets delivered in more or less the same breathless tone as all those that came before.


But first, don’t forget we’ve got a handy cheat sheet (no pun intended) here listing all the major and minor players in the ongoing saga—from Petraeus himself to the FBI agent who set the investigation that cost him his job in motion.

Friday updates:

WHITE HOUSE VISITS: The Associated Press

The two women at the center of David Petraeus’ downfall as CIA director visited the White House separately on various occasions in what appear to be unrelated calls that did not result in meetings with President Barack Obama.

A White House official said Paula Broadwell … attended meetings in June 2009 and June 2011 on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is located on the White House complex not far from the West Wing. Florida socialite Jill Kelley … and her sister had two “courtesy” meals at the White House mess as guests of a midlevel White House aide in September and October, the official said. Kelley and her family also received a White House tour on the weekend before the election.

Kelley did not meet with Obama or any senior White House officials during any of her visits, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because the visitor records have not yet been made public.

And the Washington Post:

A local news affiliate in Tampa has reported that Kelley accompanied Allen on a military flight from MacDill to Washington on at least one occasion. WTSP 10 News also reported that two years ago, as a guest of U.S. Special Operations Command, Kelley went skydiving with a parachute demonstration team that operates out of MacDill. Neither case appeared to violate military rules.


Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified Friday morning before the House Intelligence Committee as Congress seeks to find out why the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi occurred and why greater protection was not provided to the facility. Petraeus will also testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Friday.  Both sessions were to be held behind closed doors and were not open to the public. …

On Thursday night, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., previewed Petraeus’s testimony before her committee, emphasizing that her panel is focused now on the Benghazi events and not the ex-CIA chief’s personal matters. …

At issue in the investigation and the political scrimmaging this week has been the question of why, five days after the attack, the administration dispatched U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to speak on the Sunday news shows to offer a preliminary explanation of the attack, which she attributed to an anti-Islamic video that was circulated on YouTube.

Thursday’s updates:


[FBI agent Fred] Humphries, 47, confirmed the photograph exists and was sent to Kelley and dozens of other friends and acquaintances in the fall of 2010, shortly after Humphries had transferred to the Tampa office from Guantánamo Bay … Indeed, among his friends and associates, Humphries was known to send dumb-joke emails in which the punch line was provided by opening an attached photo.

A Seattle Times reporter was among those who received an email containing an attachment of the shirtless photo. The subject line read: “Which one is Fred?”

The snapshot shows Humphries — bald, muscular and shirtless — standing between a pair of equally buff and bullet-ridden target dummies on a shooting range. The joke — over which was the dummy — has now backfired in ways he couldn’t have imagined on Sept. 9, 2010, when it was first sent.

Photo here.

[N]ew disclosures [suggest] that Broad­well had a significant quantity of classified material and that the FBI’s initial concern centered on how an anonymous sender of menacing e-mails knew so much about the official schedules of the CIA director and the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan. …

The first message Allen received came in May from a sender using the alias “KelleyPatrol,” according to a person close to Kelley. The message made clear the sender knew that Allen was likely to see Kelley at an upcoming event at the residence of an ambassador in Washington and that he should stay away from her, according to the person.

Subsequent messages, also anonymous, were sent to Kelley and her husband, Scott. One of them asked whether Scott Kelley knew that his wife would be meeting Petraeus in Washington at an event scheduled for the next week, the person said. “Clearly the person knew the comings and goings of General Allen and CIA Director Petraeus,” the person said. “There was concern that someone was stalking them electronically or physically and knew the comings and goings of fairly important people.”

In mid-June, Kelley called an FBI agent she had met and told him about the e-mails.


“David Petraeus, in conversations with an HLN journalist, insisted that his resignation had nothing to do with his scheduled testimony about the September attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Petraeus has been talking with HLN’s Kyra Phillips, and confirmed to her what his supporters have been saying.

“In our first conversation,” Phillips said Thursday, Petraeus “had told me he had engaged in something dishonorable. He sought to do the honorable thing in response—and that was to come forward. He was very clear that he screwed up terribly … even felt fortunate to have a wife who is far better than he deserves.” …

“He insisted to me that he has never passed classified information to Paula Broadwell,” Phillips said. “He said this has nothing to do with Benghazi, and he wants to testify. He will testify.”

Wednesday’s updates:

MONEY WOES: The Associated Press:

Hundreds of pages of court documents in several lawsuits detail financial troubles for the Kelleys and Jill Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, who lived with the couple. Chase Bank sued Scott Kelley in 2010 over a $25,880 unpaid credit card bill, and an investment by the Kelleys in a Tampa office building turned into a dispute with the tenant over $28,000-a-month rent. The couple didn’t pay the mortgage and entered into foreclosure.

Attorney Barry Cohen represented the Kelleys in the case, but they turned around and sued him over legal fees, claiming he overcharged them by $5,000. The suit was dismissed, but court documents did not say what happened.

Natalie Khawam worked for Cohen’s firm. She filed a lawsuit against the firm’s chief financial officer, claiming she was sexually harassed after she asked about reimbursement for expenses, according to the court documents. She claimed Alan Goldberg asked her why she needed the money and she said because she was a single mom and needed to pay her divorce lawyer. “You have nice legs, your lawyer won’t drop you” she claimed he replied. Cohen, defending Goldberg, disputed all of her accusations, and said Khawam had a history of lying to the court, according to the documents.


Jill Kelley … has lost the privilege of visiting MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa without an escort. The base is home to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and Kelley, who enjoyed rubbing shoulders with top military brass, had been granted unescorted access to the base under a program initiated by the Air Force unit that runs operations at the base.

A Defense official confirms to ABC News that Kelley participated in a base program known as the “Friends of MacDill” where she was placed on a master list that allowed her to clear security when entering the base.

A person must be nominated to enter the program, and must pass a background check by the wing’s security office. The official did not know who nominated Kelley for the program.


President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he was not aware of any breach of classified information due to the situation that led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director—but referred questions about the investigation to FBI Director Robert Mueller. “One of the challenges here is that we’re not supposed to meddle in criminal investigations,” Obama said at the White House, during his first press conference since winning a second term. However, he added, “I have no evidence at this point from what I’ve seen that classified information was disclosed that would have in any way have had an impact on our national security.”


Gen. David Petraeus will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the attacks in Benghazi, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein told POLITICO Wednesday morning. But the exact schedule has not been set for his testimony. “Mr. Petraeus has indicated his willingness [to testify].  He is eager to come before the committee so we will work out the details,” Feinstein said.


Senior law enforcement officials said that a late-night seizure on Monday of boxes of material from the North Carolina home of Paula Broadwell … marks a renewed focus by investigators on sensitive material found in her possession. “The issue of national security is still on the table,” one U.S. law enforcement official said. Both Petraeus and Broadwell have denied to investigators that he was the source of any classified information, officials said.

The surprise move by the FBI follows assertions by U.S. officials that the investigation had turned up no evidence of a security breach — a factor that was cited as a reason the Justice Department did not notify the White House before last week that the CIA director had been ensnared in an e-mail inquiry.

DOWN THE ROAD: The Daily Princetonian:

University staff members voiced concerns about the potential candidacy of former CIA director David Petraeus GS ’87 for University president at the third open forum held by the University’s presidential search committee Tuesday afternoon. …

The University Board of Trustees is expecting to receive a recommendation from the search committee on the candidate for University president by late March or early April.

Background: the student paper reported back in September that Petraeus “harbors a serious interest in one day serving as University president,” according to those who know him.

Tuesday’s updates:

EASY TO START, NOT SO EASY TO STOP: The Wall Street Journal:

On Tuesday, people familiar with the case said that at one point in the summer, after the investigation began pointing to larger potential national security issues, Ms. Kelley tried to get the FBI to drop the matter. The people said she made the request because she was worried about the personal information being provided to investigators.

Ms. Kelley, a 37-year-old volunteer who organized social events for military personnel, developed misgivings after friends in her Tampa social circle urged her to drop the matter, saying the probe would only cause bigger problems, the people familiar with the case said.

Ms. Kelley’s apparent regret points to one of the more unusual aspects of the case: what began as a seemingly minor case of cyberstalking mushroomed into fears that the Central Intelligence Agency director’s personal email account had been hacked, which spawned concerns the CIA director might have passed sensitive information to his mistress.

AN EARLY END TO ROMANCE: Slate’s Hanna Rosin via the Washingtonian:

Paula Broadwell and her husband Scott did in fact enjoy their romantic Friday night dinner at the Inn at Little Washington, following a romantic weekend out of an ad for the Virginia tourist association: hikes, bike rides, and a room at the romantic Middleton Inn. …

Just to get the timeline straight, Slate broke the name of Petraues’ mistress on Friday evening, just around the time when the couple would have been sitting down to dinner. It’s possible that they made a rule to keep their phones back in the room of another inn where they were staying, and had no idea her name had become public. If not, how could they possibly have made it through dinner without someone emailing Broadwell and telling her what was up? …

The Washingtonian also reports that when they checked into the inn, her husband had a bottle of Champagne and a bouquet of pink roses and white lilies waiting to mark her 40th birthday. And then they checked out “earlier than expected” on Saturday morning and Scott Broadwell was described as “not talkative.”

CHARACTER WITNESSES: The Associated Press:

Court records indicate that Petraeus and Allen intervened last September in a messy custody dispute on behalf of Jill Kelley’s sister. Both four-star generals wrote letters supporting Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, in a custody battle over her son.

Not only did the judge in the case award her ex-husband custody last year of their 3-year-old son, John, but he also told Khawam to pay his legal bills amounting to $350,000. Khawam filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April after racking up more than $3 million in debt, according to federal court records.

CHARITY IN NAME ONLY: The Huffington Post:

Jill Kelley … founded a questionable charity for cancer patients with her surgeon husband, Scott Kelley. Based out of the couple’s mansion, the Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation claimed on its tax forms that it “shall be operated exclusively to conduct cancer research and to grant wishes to terminally ill adult cancer patients.”

From the records, it appears that the charity fell far short of its mission. While the origins of the seed money used to start the charity in 2007 are unclear, financial records reviewed by The Huffington Post reveal that the group spent all of its money not on research, but on parties, entertainment, travel and attorney fees.

A CALL FOR HELP: Fox 13 out of Tampa:

The South Tampa woman connected to the Gen. David Petraeus scandal has called police to her home several times in the last few days, and at least once tried to invoke “diplomatic protection.”

Media from around the world have convened on the two-story Bayshore Boulevard home of Scott and Jill Kelley. … Two 911 calls were made from the Kelleys’ home on Sunday.  In the first recording, a man whose name was redacted says there is someone at the door who won’t leave his property.  The second caller, who identifies herself as Jill, says there’s someone lurking in their yard.


President Obama has faith in Gen. John R. Allen, the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, the White House spokesman said on Tuesday, after it was disclosed that the general was under investigation for what the Pentagon called “inappropriate communication” with the woman whose complaint to the F.B.I. set off the scandal involving David H. Petraeus’s extramarital affair.

“The president thinks very highly of General Allen,” the spokesman, Jay Carney, said at a White House news briefing. “He has faith in General Allen,” and believes that he has done “an excellent job” as commander in Afghanistan, Mr. Carney added. General Allen’s recent nomination to become the supreme allied commander in Europe, Mr. Carney said, is delayed at the request of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta pending the investigation’s outcome.


The woman revealed to have been carrying on an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus lost her driver’s license in a Washington, D.C., park recently, sources tell U.S. News.

A Maryland National Capital Park Police spokesman confirmed that a jogger found a North Carolina license in Rock Creek Park belonging to Paula Broadwell. Park Police planned to hold it for 90 days, per policy, and then send it back to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Elsewhere in Slate: Katie Roiphie on why this whole thing isn’t even a “sex scandal.” It is just sex. And Amanda Marcotte on why it barely merits the word “scandal.” And: