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Lawmakers question whether FBI probe affected Petraeus' statements on Libya

 

Lawmakers have begun to openly question when David Petraeus first knew about the investigation that uncovered his affair -- and whether it impacted his statements to Congress on Sept. 14 about the Libya terror attack. 

Petraeus briefed lawmakers that day that the attack was akin to a flash mob, and some top lawmakers noted to Fox News he seemed "wedded" to the administration's narrative that it was a demonstration spun out of control. The briefing appeared to conflict with one from the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center a day earlier in which officials said the intelligence supported an Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-affiliated attack. 

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News he now questions whether Petraeus' statements -- which were in conflict with both the FBI briefing and available raw intelligence -- were in any way impacted by the knowledge the FBI was investigating his affair with Broadwell. 

King questioned whether the investigation "consciously or subconsciously" affected his statements to Congress. 

There also continue to be concerns about why the chairs and ranking members of key committees were not told that Petraeus had surfaced within the scope of an FBI case. 

While law enforcement officials have claimed they were not obligated to brief lawmakers on an ongoing potentially criminal matter, the argument is not sitting well with those lawmakers who claim they should have been told. 

A senior staffer with the House Intelligence Committee told Fox News that Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., continues to have "serious questions about the resignation and circumstances surrounding it." 

These issues will be taken up Wednesday as FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce brief Rogers and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., on the FBI investigation into Petraeus. 

The status on FBI Director Robert Mueller remains unclear, but his presence would underscore the gravity of the notification issue and questions surrounding the FBI case. 

In the afternoon, both intelligence committee lawmakers will be briefed by acting CIA Director Michael Morell. 

Fox News is told that the sentiment heading into the briefing appears blunt -- summed up to Fox News as: "What the heck is going on at the Agency and the Bureau?"

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.