Crime & Courts

David Petraeus will plead, be sentenced April 23

Former Gen. David Petraeus will plead guilty in Charlotte April 23 to sharing government secrets with Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an affair.
Former Gen. David Petraeus will plead guilty in Charlotte April 23 to sharing government secrets with Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an affair. AP

Former CIA Director David Petraeus will enter his plea and accept his punishment during an April 23 federal court appearance in Charlotte.

The hearing had been tentatively scheduled for March 19 but instead will take place a month later, according to a scheduling order made public Monday.

Normally, defendants in federal court make separate appearances before a judge for pleas and sentencing. For Petraeus, the two will be consolidated into one 2 p.m. session before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler.

Petraeus has been charged with one misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. In return for Petraeus’ guilty plea, federal prosecutors are recommending two years of probation and a $40,000 fine.

Keesler is not required to follow the recommendation, but plea agreements such as this generally carry significant weight in sentencings.

Petraeus is accused of sharing secret information with his former mistress, Paula Broadwell of Charlotte, who was researching and writing a biography of the four-star general at the time. Prosecutors say Petraeus also lied about having the information, then giving it to Broadwell. As such, legal experts say Petraeus could have faced an obstruction charge that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

The FBI in Charlotte launched the investigation into the general’s use of classified information after first implicating Broadwell in the cyberstalking of another female friend of Petraeus. Agents traced emailed threats the woman received back to Broadwell. A further check of her email and computer uncovered classified documents and evidence of her affair with Petraeus.

Petraeus resigned from the CIA on Nov. 9, 2012, after the affair became public.

Broadwell still lives in Charlotte with her husband and two children. As of Monday, no charges have been filed against her. Prosecutors said last week that none of the classified information Petraeus gave Broadwell appeared in her book.

Broadwell was a major in the Army Reserves at the time with security clearance.

Gordon: 704-358-5095

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