Former CIA Director David Petraeus was sentenced to two years’ probation and was given a fine of $100,000, while some believe that he received preferential treatment and the court decision was too soft.
“There is a double standard that has been displayed by the U.S. government that is inequitable, is just simply unfair,” said Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney, who is an expert in national security cases.
The court ruling came two months after Petraeus pleaded guilty to a federal count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.
The agreement could have brought a possible sentence of up to a year in prison. Prosecutors had requested two years’ probation and a $40,000 fine. Judge David Keesler ruled in favor of a larger fine in order to “reflect seriousness of the offense,” whic, the judge said, was in “stark contrast to 37 years of achievement.”
Petraeus made a short statement before he was sentenced, in which he apologized “for the pain my actions have caused.”After the court ruling, Petraeus thanked his supporters and again apologized.
The former CIA Director will not spend a day in jail, while others accused of the same misdemeanor are risking up to 25 years in prison. Zaid compared the Petraeus case with that of ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou.
In 2012, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to disclosing the name of a covert agent to a news reporter and was given a sentence of 2 1/2 years in prison. Petraeus, then CIA director, praised the conviction.
Zaid added he thinks the government struck a deal with Petraeus in order to avoid the conviction of a high-profile former government official.
The plea agreement was submitted in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Paula Broadwell, the general’s biographer and ex-lover, is living with her husband and children.
Prosecutors argued that while Broadwell was writing the book on the CIA Director in 2011, Petraeus gave her eight groups of classified material he had kept from the period he was the top military commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Those documents were later seized by the FBI in a search of Petraeus’ home, in Arlington, Virginia, where they were kept in the unlocked drawer.
Prosecutors mentioned that after offering his resignation from the CIA in November 2012, Petraeus signed a document in which he falsely claimed he had no classified material. He also missleaded FBI agents by not admitting he supplied the information to Broadwell.
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