Lawmakers on the hill want answers as to why they were not briefed by the FBI on the agency's investigation into ex-CIA Director David Petraeus, who resigned Friday citing an extramarital affair.
"We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt," said California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Fox News Sunday. "We will investigate why the committee didn't know. We should have been told."
The FBI is obligated by law to notify the intelligence committees about ongoing investigations that may affect national security. And lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they are concerned they and the White House were not briefed earlier on the matter.
"Once the FBI realized that it was investigating the director of the CIA or the CIA director had come within its focus or its scope, I believe at that time they had an absolute obligation to tell the president," said New York Republican Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "Not to protect David Petraeus, but to protect the president."
Lawmakers wanted Petraeus to testify at a classified hearing Thursday about the Bengahzi terrorist attacks that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy told Fox News "there's no way we can get to the bottom of Benghazi without David Petraeus. So while he may not be around next week because he's got personal matters, the week after that and the week after that and the week after that, this excuse will run stale."
Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz echoed the sentiment insisting on Fox News that there is "no excuse" why Petraeus shouldn't have to answer to lawmakers during the classified briefing this week.
The administration has said it plans on sending Mike Morrell, acting director of the CIA, instead.
The Associated Press reports the FBI became aware Petraeus had engaged in an extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell when it began scrutinizing a series of threatening e-mails she had sent to Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old liaison between the military's Joint Special Operations Command and the State Department and a close family friend of Petraeus's.
The FBI's investigation into the exchanges between Kelley and Broadwell made it clear, the AP reports, Petraeus and Broadwell, who had penned a biography of Petraeus, had engaged in an affair.
Little is known about the relationship between Petraeus and Kelley, but the two appear to be close family friends.
"Kelley and her husband Scott Kelley released a statement Sunday saying "We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children."
More Political News:
- Karl Rove Says He's Not Going Anywhere
- Rep. Allen West Loses, Refuses to Concede
- Axelrod: 47% Was Key to Election Win
Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News & World Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow her on Twitter @foxreports.