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By Timothy M. Phelps, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Former CIA director and top Army General David H. Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to mishandling classified material by giving the information to a woman he was having an affair with, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The plea deal on one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material resolves allegations that Petraeus gave government secrets to Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer. Petraeus allegedly allowed Broadwell access to his CIA email account and provided her with other confidential information.

The admission marked another chapter in the dramatic downfall of a modern-day military hero, who as commander of multinational forces in Iraq was largely credited with changing the course of the war against al-Qaida there through a surge in U.S. troops and a successful effort to win over Sunni militias to the U.S. side.

Petraeus stepped down in November 2012 as head of the CIA after his affair with Broadwell, an Army reserve officer who was writing his biography, became public.

Though he admitted the affair and said he had shown “extremely poor judgment,” Petraeus had maintained that he never gave Broadwell classified information. But in January, Justice Department officials said that FBI agents had found classified materials on Broadwell’s computer and that prosecutors had recommended charging the retired general.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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