Former United States Centeral Intelligence Agency Director General David Petraeus has accepted a plea deal with the Department of Justice to avoid trial in a case that involves him leaking National Security secrets to his mistress. Petraeus plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge.
The misdemeanor to which the General plead carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison with a potential fine of one hundred thousand United States dollars followed by five years of probation. Petraeus plead to "unlawfully and knowingly" providing classified information to an unauthorized party. The unauthorized party, Paula Broadwell, was an Army Intelligence Major as well as Petraeus's biographer and extramarital lover. Broadwell had been approved for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in August 2012 before the scandal over Petraeus made the press, the promotion was later unapproved and determined ineligible for promotion until the Petraeus matter became resolved.
The information Petraeus plead to having shared includes information classified at both the Top Secret and Specially Compartmented Information levels. The artifacts containing the information is alleged to have taken the form of eight "black books" from his time as a General in foreign wars. These "black books" were his personal notebooks.
Petraeus was the face of troop surges which seemed to have reduced violence in Iraq pre-ISIS and in Afghanistan may have had some positive, negative, or null effect. He was highly regarded during the late Bush II and early Obama administrations for being less bad at whatever job he filled than his predecessor was and it followed that he was promoted away from those jobs accordingly. His popularity was such that American political commentators were seriously discussing Petraeus as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016 and political rival whose dissent Obama would have to contend with during his second term.
This career momentum was reversed when Broadwell began sending threatening letters to a Florida socialite who she assumed to also be an extramarital lover of Petraeus. The investigation which followed is alleged to have revealed a multiple of emails sent in plaintext between Petraeus and Broadwell.
The maximum potential sentence the General faces for leaking with intent to advance his career is less than that delivered to public service leaker Manning and those discussed for public service leaker Snowden. It is also less than that provided via plea bargain to Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem in a case that did not involve leaking Specially Compartmented Information concerning national security, substantially so in terms of monetary penalties.