Journalists subpoenaed in lawsuit over Petraeus scandal

AP News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2015 11:52 PM
Journalists subpoenaed in lawsuit over Petraeus scandal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nine journalists were issued subpoenas Tuesday as part of a lawsuit over the Obama administration investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.

Those subpoenaed to provide depositions and documents include current and former reporters and editors at The Associated Press, The Washington Post, the Daily Beast and Fox News.

Jill and Scott Kelley of Tampa, Florida, sued the federal government in 2013, alleging that officials violated the U.S. Privacy Act by disclosing information about the couple. Jill Kelley was implicated in 2012 scandals involving Petraeus and Marine Gen. John R. Allen.

The Kelleys sought to question former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson about his conversations with the media. Johnson is now the secretary of the Homeland Security Department.

A federal judge ruled in July the Kelleys can't question the cabinet secretary unless they first question the reporters.

Those subpoenaed include AP reporter Anne Flaherty and former AP reporters Adam Goldman and Kim Dozier. Goldman now works at the Post and Dozier at the Daily Beast.

The AP was the first to report the name of Kelley, a socialite who hosted parties attended by high-ranking military brass.

"We will resist the subpoena based on the information we have," Paul Colford, AP's vice president and director of media relations, said Tuesday.

Pentagon officials acknowledged in earlier depositions that they developed a "press plan" with members of an unspecified delegation from the White House in November 2012 to tell reporters that emails between Allen and Jill Kelley were "potentially inappropriate" and to suggest that the two had a sexual relationship.

Jill Kelley denied having an affair, and Allen was later exonerated by the Pentagon's inspector general.

Current and former government officials already questioned under oath include former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former Pentagon chief of staff Jeremy Bash and former Pentagon and CIA spokesman George Little.

The Kelleys' lawyer, Alan Charles Raul of Washington, did not provide comment Tuesday evening.

In 2012, Jill Kelley contacted a social acquaintance at the FBI to complain that an unknown person had sent her harassing emails. Her complaint triggered a criminal investigation that led agents to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer. Broadwell had been having an affair with the former Army general, who was then director of the spy agency.

The FBI concluded that Broadwell had forwarded to her personal email account at least 1,500 messages about intelligence and military matters from Petraeus' official CIA email account. Petraeus resigned Nov. 9, 2012, and later pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

Jill Kelley's name and some harassing emails were disclosed on Nov. 11, 2012, to reporters amid the sensational disclosures about Petraeus. Two days later, she was linked to Allen, then-commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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Follow Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker at http://Twitter.com/mbieseck