Sen. Feinstein on Petraeus and Benghazi


Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) initially said she didn’t think General David Petraeus should have stepped down as CIA director, but after having spoken to him on Friday and learning more, she now thinks he “did the right thing,” and the “president had no choice but to accept the resignation.”


“For me, it’s a heartbreaker,” the senator added.


Feinstein confirmed reports that she was not told about the FBI investigation but rather found out on Friday as everyone else did.


By law, committees with intelligence oversight should have been alerted to an investigation that involves security matters.


Feinstein said she wishes “we had been briefed a little bit earlier,” adding that her committee, which has an intelligence hearing scheduled for this week, has not had an opportunity to plan in light of these developments.


Although there is no indication of a security breach at this point, the chairman added, “this is something that could have had an effect on national security.”


Feinstein, asked about speculation that the timing if this resignation is somehow tied to the Benghazi investigation, said  “absolutely not.”


The chairman said the committee will decide whether to call on Petraeus to testify at some point in the future regarding the CIA’s role in the September assault on the US consulate in Benghazi.


Regarding her upcoming hearing on the matter, Feinstein said her  biggest concern is that there were “literally hundreds of threat warnings, five attacks during the prior year” to the attack which killed four Americans.


“Why wasn’t something done about it,” she asked.