* No CIA documents on mistress' computer -sources
* Spy agency launches probe of its own
* Petraeus says resigned CIA post over affair, not Benghazi
By Mark Hosenball and Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON, Nov 15 Classified material kept by
the woman who conducted an affair with former CIA Director David
Petraeus predates their liaison and does not come from the spy
agency, sources briefed on the investigation told Reuters on
The finding appears to bolster assertions by both Petraeus
and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, that their affair did not
put national security secrets at risk - a central question
hovering over the scandal that brought down one of the United
States' most respected public figures last week.
The CIA said on Thursday it had opened an "exploratory"
investigation into Petraeus' conduct, building on the FBI's
probe. Law enforcement officials have said they believe the FBI
investigation is likely to end without criminal charges.
The scandal has cast a spotlight on the private lives of
some of the nation's top national security officials.
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Marine
General John Allen, now faces a Pentagon inspector general's
review of what sources describe as "flirtatious" emails with a
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the military's top
brass to look for any gaps in ethics amid concerns officers'
lapses in judgment could erode public confidence in the
military. Traveling in Bangkok, Panetta said he knew of no other
military officials who have been drawn into the investigation.
Petraeus and Broadwell have separately told investigators
they did not share security secrets, and Petraeus has repeated
that assertion to associates and a television reporter.
In his first public comments on the matter, Attorney General
Eric Holder said on Thursday the FBI did not see any possible
threats over the course of the investigation that were urgent
enough to notify President Barack Obama or lawmakers until
shortly before Petraeus stepped down.
BROADWELL HAD SECURITY CLEARANCE
FBI agents have found a substantial amount of classified
information on Broadwell's personal computer since they searched
her Charlotte, North Carolina, home with her consent on Monday.
Sources briefed on the investigation said the documents date
from before August 2011, when Petraeus took up his post at the
CIA and the two started their affair. None of the material comes
from the CIA.
As an Army reserve officer involved in military
intelligence, Broadwell had a security clearance that allowed
her to handle sensitive documents. However, she would still have
to comply with strict rules that lay out how sensitive materials
must be protected.
Broadwell's security clearance has now been suspended. She
could have it revoked and face harsher penalties if it is found
she mishandled classified data.
Petraeus' remarks notwithstanding, investigators said on
Thursday they had not ruled out the possibility that he passed
on classified material to Broadwell. They spoke on condition of
anonymity to discuss an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
Broadwell, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, has
made no public comment since the scandal erupted last week.
'PRETTY CRITICAL INTERVIEW'
Some lawmakers have questioned why they were not notified of
the probe until after last week's presidential election.
Holder, at a news conference in New Orleans, defended the
Justice Department's handling of the case and its sharing of
information with top Obama administration officials.
"After a pretty critical interview occurred the Friday
before we made that disclosure, when we got to that point where
we thought it was appropriate to share the information, we did
so," Holder said at a news conference.
Petraeus is due on Friday to face lawmakers who are
examining the September attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which led to
the death of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. The
attack has turned into a flash point between Obama and
Republicans who accuse his administration of misleading the
public in the days following the attack.
The questioning will be confined to the events in Benghazi,
said one lawmaker who is expected to participate.
"We'll get his perspective on what information he knew and
how his assessment of that intelligence changed over time," said
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff.
Petraeus told the television network HLN that he resigned
because of the affair, not Benghazi.