The Cable

Petraeus Put on Probation, Fined $100,000 for Leaks

David Petraeus, the same four-star general who oversaw American missions during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before he was tapped as CIA director, has been sentenced to probation and fined $100,000 for disclosing classified information. Prosecutors said Petraeus leaked sensitive information to his lover, Paula Broadwell, who was working on his biography. During their ...

US-POLITICS-PETRAEUS
Former CIA director David Petraeus addresses a University of Southern California event honoring the military on March 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. In the first public appearance since stepping down last November as head of the CIA after admitting to an affair, Petraeus said he regretted and apologized for the circumstances that led to his resignation. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

David Petraeus, the same four-star general who oversaw American missions during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before he was tapped as CIA director, has been sentenced to probation and fined $100,000 for disclosing classified information.

Prosecutors said Petraeus leaked sensitive information to his lover, Paula Broadwell, who was working on his biography. During their affair, which began in 2011 and went public in 2012, Petraeus gave Broadwell classified material and access to his CIA email. Both Petraeus and Broadwell are married.

Initially, Petraeus denied sharing classified information with Broadwell. But he pleaded guilty to the charges Thursday in federal court in North Carolina, where Broadwell lives. The fine was $60,000 higher than the government suggested as part of a plea deal reached two months ago. U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler, who presided over the hearing, was not required to follow that deal.

When asked by the judge if he was guilty of leaking information to Broadwell, he responded that he was. Part of his plea deal was that he would not contest any accusations brought against him by the government.

Petraeus resigned from his post as CIA chief when the scandal broke in 2012, but has since served as an advisor to the White House on security issues in the Middle East. He will be allowed to travel internationally as long as he is cleared to do so by his probation officer.

Prosecutors said Petraeus, entrusted as one of the nation’s top secret-keepers, “betrayed that trust, then lied about it to the FBI.” His plea deal could have been worse: He could have faced up to a year in prison for the leaks.

In 2012, CIA operative John Kiriakou was charged by the Justice Department for repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists. He was a whistleblower on the CIA’s torture program, and admitted the CIA repeatedly used waterboarding on al Qaeda suspects.

But Kiriakou’s plea deal, in January 2013, wasn’t as sweet as Petraeus’s: The father of five was slapped with 30 months in prison. And Kiriakou certainly isn’t offering Obama any policy advice. In fact, he said, the CIA ordered his wife to resign from her job at the agency and their family is drowning in legal fees.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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