Senior US lawmakers have demanded an inquiry into the FBI investigations that brought to light the extramarital affair of former CIA Director David Petraeus, wanting to know when the top general’s name popped up on FBI radar and whether national security was compromised.

“It came like a lightning bolt,” Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein said yesterday during Congressional hearings on the possible intelligence and security lapses surrounding the terror attack on US mission in Benghazi.

“This is something that could have had an effect on national security,” Feinstein said. “I think we should have been told.”

She said the committee would “absolutely” investigate why the FBI did not notify relevant officials sooner.

The demand of an inquiry into the Petraeus episode came as law enforcement agencies identified Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa, as the woman whose report of harassing e-mails eventually exposed an extramarital affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, a former Army officer who wrote a biography of the retired four-star general, the Washington Post reported.

The departure in disgrace of one of the administration’s most respected and prominent figures comes as President Barack Obama is reorgansing his national-security team for a second term. Petraeus was to have been a primary candidate for a berth.

The Petraeus affair overshelved the Congressional hearing with Representative Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, saying, “It just doesn’t add up that you have this type of investigation. The FBI is investigating e-mails, the e-mails leading to the CIA director, taking four months to find out that the CIA director was involved.”

“I have real questions about this. I think a timeline has to be looked at and analysed to see what happened,” King said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

(This article was published on November 12, 2012)
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