Ex-CIA chief Petraeus to plead guilty, admits giving mistress secrets

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Former CIA Director David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to mishandling classified information, with the retired four-star general admitting to giving eight “black books” full of such data to a military mistress who was writing his biography.

Petraeus, 62, will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material under the deal, according to documents filed on Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The plea agreement announced by the Justice Department marks the latest chapter in an astonishing fall from grace for Petraeus, an intellectual with a Princeton University doctorate and a counter-insurgency expert widely considered one of America’s most important military leaders of recent decades.

He served stints as the top U.S. commander in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and then as CIA director and was lauded by senior U.S. lawmakers. But his career came crashing down thanks to an extramarital affair with his biographer, former Army Reserve officer Paula Broadwell.

Petraeus faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison. But under the deal prosecutors and his lawyers are recommending a $40,000 fine and two years of probation.

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