In a new, strange twist to the ongoing Petraeus scandal, it turns out the FBI agent who started the investigation sent topless photos of himself to Jill Kelley, Petraeus's alleged other other woman. The agent in question was apparently a friend of Kelley's and the person she turned turned to after she received the "threatening" emails from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus's first mistress.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the agent then referred the case to a cyber crimes unit, which began an investigation. That wasn't enough for the agent, who reportedly grew "obsessed" with the case—so much so that he sent shirtless photos of himself to Kelley. The agent was eventually banned from the case by his superiors. But that didn't stop him. He soon notified a member of Congress, Washington representative David Reichert, because he feared the case would be ignored. The information was then relayed to FBI headquarters in Washington, DC.
So that's one part of the craziness.
The WSJ reports that the emails, which the FBI quickly traced to several accounts owned by Broadwell, were sent to an account shared by Kelley and her husband. But what did the emails say?
From the WSJ:
One asked if Ms. Kelley's husband was aware of her actions, according to officials. In another, the anonymous writer claimed to have watched Ms. Kelley touching "him'' provocatively underneath a table, the officials said.
But the Daily Beast has a different take. According to their source, the emails were more like "cat-fight stuff."
"More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch,'" according to the source, who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community and prefers not to be identified by name.
The Daily Beast's source also mentioned that the FBI agents were initially skeptical that the case should even be pursued.
"What does this mean? There's no threat there. This is against the law?" the agents asked themselves by the source's account.
At most the messages were harassing. The cyber squad had to consult the statute books in its effort to determine whether there was adequate legal cause to open a case.
"It was a close call," the source says.
The Beast's Michael Daly has some excellent analysis as to why Broadwell was sending the harassing emails to Kelley:
The besotted Broadwell may have viewed the curvaceous Kelley as a threat. Broadwell may be able to run a six-minute mile with Petraeus, but Kelley looks like a woman who lets the guys do all the running-and in her direction.
One more time: "Broadwell may be able to run a six-minute mile with Petraeus, but Kelley looks like a woman who lets the guys do all the running-and in her direction."
He went on, even bringing Kelley's 7-year-old daughter into the mix:
Maybe Broadwell chanced to encounter Kelley on some occasion and felt snubbed. Or Broadwell could have just seen online photos of Petraeus and his wife visiting the mansion that Kelley shares with her doctor husband and three young children. Kelley likely assisted her 7-year-old daughter, Caroline, in posting an online photo album that includes a picture of the girl and her two sisters with Petraeus.
"I was with Ganrl Patrais?' the girl's handwritten caption reads. "He came to my haws."
For Kelley to help post this if she were having an affair with the general would border on the pathological. Bad enough that the news of Kelley's involvement in setting the case in motion broke just in time for reporters to swarm the house during Caroline's seventh birthday party there, complete with bouncy castle.
In conclusion: a woman having an affair with the director of the CIA sent threatening emails to another woman she thought might be having an affair with the same CIA director, and then that woman reported the emails to an FBI agent, who then became obsessed and sent her harassing emails of his own, including some in which he was not wearing a shirt. This is officially some next level shit.
UPDATE: To make matters even crazier, the FBI is now in the process of searching Paula Broadwell's home.
FBI agents have been inside Paula Broadwell's Dilworth home for about an hour now.About a dozen there, with bags/boxes, taking pics @wcnc
— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) November 13, 2012
FBI agents are at the home of Paula Broadwell in Charlotte; law enforcement official says it's a consensual search, not a raid - NBC
— CNBC (@CNBC) November 13, 2012
[Image via AP]