U.S. prosecutors say won't charge Petraeus mistress in cyberstalking case

Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:07am IST

Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with former CIA chief David Petraeus led to his resignation, leaves her home in Charlotte, North Carolina November 20, 2012. REUTERS/John Adkisson/Files

Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with former CIA chief David Petraeus led to his resignation, leaves her home in Charlotte, North Carolina November 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Adkisson/Files

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REUTERS - Federal prosecutors said on Tuesday they would not file any charges in the cyberstalking investigation of Paula Broadwell, the biographer whose affair with former CIA chief David Petraeus led to his resignation.

Anonymous emails that Broadwell sent to Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite who knew Petraeus, prompted an FBI investigation that exposed Broadwell's affair with Petraeus, a retired U.S. Army general known for his success in the Iraq war. Petraeus resigned from the CIA last month.

"After applying relevant case law to the particular facts of this case, the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida has decided not to pursue a federal case regarding the alleged acts of 'cyberstalking' involving Paula Broadwell," the U.S. Attorney's office in Tampa, Florida, said in a statement.

Broadwell was also under investigation for her handling of classified materials and it was unclear on Tuesday whether that investigation was still continuing.

"Our office cannot comment outside of our statement on the cyberstalking investigation," a spokeswoman for the Tampa prosecutor said.

A Justice Department spokesman in Washington also declined to comment on whether that investigation was continuing or on whether Broadwell could still be charged with crimes other than cyberstalking.

FBI agents found a substantial amount of classified information on Broadwell's personal computer when they searched her North Carolina home with her consent in November. Both she and Petraeus have told investigators they did not share security secrets.

Sources briefed on the investigation previously told Reuters the documents date from before August 2011, when Petraeus took up his post at the CIA and the two started their affair. None of the material comes from the CIA, the sources said.

Broadwell was an Army reserve officer involved in military intelligence and had a security clearance that allowed her to handle sensitive documents. However, she would still have to comply with strict rules that lay out how sensitive materials must be protected.

Broadwell's security clearance has been suspended. It could be revoked and she could face harsher penalties if it is found that she mishandled classified data.

(Reporting by Jane Sutton in Miami and David Ingraham in Washington; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Mohammad Zargham)

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