Petraeus Sentenced To 2 Years' Probation, Fine For Sharing Classified Info
Updated at 11:34 a.m. ET Friday
Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and handed a $100,000 fine for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, in the form of notebooks he shared with his lover.
Under the terms of a plea deal, Petraeus, 62, will avoid jail time. As we reported last month, "The charge's maximum possible punishments include a fine of $100,000 and a one-year prison sentence. Instead, prosecutors agreed that Petraeus should serve a two-year probation and pay a fine of $40,000."
Judge David Kessler said he increased the fine to "reflect the seriousness of the offense."
At issue are "black books" — eight notebooks in which Petraeus kept highly classified information that the government says included "the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings, and defendant David Howell Petraeus's discussions with the President of the United States of America."
That description comes from court documents that were filed along with the plea deal. The documents also included an email in which Petraeus promises to give the black books to Paula Broadwell, his biographer with whom he was having an affair.
The government also said that Petraeus gave false statements to FBI agents about giving Broadwell the notebooks, and that he also falsely swore when he left the CIA in 2012 that he did not have any classified material in his possession or control.
The black books were found in 2013, after the FBI conducted a search of Petraeus' house. They had been sitting in an unlocked desk drawer, according to court documents.
Jesselyn Radack, an attorney for Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou and Thomas Drake, called the sentence handed to Petraeus a "travesty."
"This sentence is nothing more than a slap on the wrist that highlights a gross double standard in leak prosecutions, which makes clear that the Obama administration's record breaking number of Espionage Act prosecutions has nothing to do with protecting classified information and everything to do with punishing and silencing whistleblowers," she said in a statement. "If leaks were the real concern, Petraeus would receive punishment as harsh as the government demanded for other accused leakers."
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