Patraeus Affair Time Line

6:00 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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Spring 2006: David Petraeus speaks at Harvard University, where he meets Paula Broadwell, who was then a graduate student studying public administration at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Broadwell, according to the preface of her book, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," approached Petraeus about her research interests, and he agreed to connect her to people with a similar academic focus.

2008: Broadwell, enrolled as a doctoral student at Kings College London, begins her Ph.D. dissertation on Petraeus and his novel leadership style, conducting several interviews with the general.

October 31, 2008: Petraeus assumes leadership of U.S. Central Command after handing over command in Iraq to Gen. Ray Odierno.

June 2010: Petraeus is plucked from Central Command by President Obama and nominated to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was relieved of command in Afghanistan after controversial comments he made in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

August 31, 2011: Petraeus retires from the U.S. Army and departs Afghanistan.

September 6, 2011: Petraeus is sworn in as CIA director after a unanimous, 94-0 confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

November 2011: A few months after Petraeus assumes leadership of the CIA, he and Broadwell began their affair, according to accounts told to friends.

January 2012: Broadwell's biography, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus" is released.

March 2, 2012: Broadwell is interviewed by CBS News' Jeff Glor about her book. Of Petraeus, Broadwell said, "I got to see a more personal side - he's confident - but he is also very compassionate about the loss of troops and the sacrifices we're making in Afghanistan on the front lines."

"He, at the end of the day, is a human and is challenged by the burdens of command and has mastered wearing the mask of command, if you will," she added. "Because he knows that the commander of 150,000 forces to whom our nation and many other nations were looking for leadership and decisive action needed to show resolve and commitment."

May 2012: Petraeus family friend Jill Kelley begins receiving emails from Broadwell that Kelley describes as "harassing." Kelley reports the emails to a friend at the FBI. The FBI's investigation of Broadwell's "harassing" emails, which began in June, eventually uncovered the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell. Kelley's FBI liaison, who had previously sent her shirtless photos of himself, was barred from the case after exhibiting an undue interest in the ongoing investigation.

June 2012: Petraeus and Broadwell mutually agree to end their affair, according to an associate of Petraeus'.

September 11, 2012: An attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, claims the life of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, and three other Americans. The administration initially portrayed the attack as a spontaneous bout of violence in reaction to an anti-Muslim film, citing intelligence reports now regarded as incomplete.

September 13, 2012: Petraeus briefs the Senate Intelligence Committee on Benghazi in a closed-door meeting. A Democrat present at the meeting says Petraeus suggested the attack was spontaneous, echoing the administration's assessment.

September 2012: The FBI interviews Broadwell for the first time; she acknowledges her affair with Petraeus.

October 2012: The week of Oct. 21, the FBI again interviews Broadwell and, a few days later, Petraeus, who also owns up to the affair.

October 25, 2012: The Senate Intelligence Committee announces a Nov. 15 hearing on Benghazi.

October 26, 2012: Broadwell makes a statement about the CIA taking Libyan prisoners in a speech at the University of Denver, indicating she had access to restricted information. CIA spokesman Preston Golson denied Broadwell's claim, saying, "Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless."

October 29, 2012: FBI conducts second interview with Broadwell.

October 31, 2012: Petraeus, in Egypt, likely visited Libya on Oct. 30 or Nov. 1.

Late October 2012: Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., tells House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., that a whistleblower has a national security concern. An FBI employee, the same man who sent shirtless photos to Jill Kelley, tells Cantor about the Petraeus affair and a possible security breach. The man was concerned that the investigation was stalled due to a politically motivated coverup to protect President Obama. Cantor "makes sure" FBI Director Mueller "was aware of these serious allegations and the potential risk to our national security," according to the New York Times.

October 31, 2012: Cantor's chief of staff Steve Stombres calls the FBI, which gave a standard "can't confirm or deny" answer, but indicated that steps were being taken to ensure that no classified information was at risk.

Petraeus, meanwhile, contacts several members of the House and Senate to say he'll be presenting Congress with a video and timeline around the Nov. 15 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Petraeus says the video shows a dozen or so protesters milling around before the attack, indicating it was a spontaneous protest. He also says it was nonetheless a terrorist attack, thereby affirming and tying together both narratives about the attack in Benghazi.

November 1, 2012: CIA releases its own timeline to rebut a Fox News report about the CIA ignoring the consulate's requests for help.

November 6, 2012: Election Day results in a second term for President Obama. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper learns of the situation with Petraeus when the FBI notifies him around 5 p.m. That evening and the following day, Clapper and Petraeus discuss the situation, Clapper tells Petraeus that he thinks resignation would be the right thing to do.

November 7, 2012: Senate Intelligence Committee confirms Petraeus will be a witness. Clapper notifies the president's senior national security staff at the White House late in the day that Petraeus is considering resigning because of an extramarital affair.

November 8, 2012: Just before a staff meeting, President Obama is told of the ongoing situation with Petraeus. That afternoon, Petraeus meets with Obama and says he strongly believes he has to resign. Obama does not accept the resignation immediately.

November 9, 2012: The Pentagon releases its own timeline, a week after the CIA. President Obama calls Petraeus and accepts his resignation. Petraeus announces his affair in a statement saying he had shown "extremely poor judgment" and talks to Sen. Dianne Feinstein several times over the phone.

November 12-13, 2012: The Pentagon announces the FBI has referred a case regarding Gen. John Allen, the U.S. top commander in Afghanistan, and his involvement with Jill Kelley, with whom Allen reportedly exchanged tens of thousands of emails, for internal investigation. Allen's nomination as next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe is put on hold. The FBI conducts a consensual search of Broadwell's home and removes materials.

CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson, Bob Orr, John Miller, and David Martin contributed to this report.

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