Justice Department Asks for More Time in Petraeus/Kelley Email Scandal

The Justice Department has asked for a 30-day extension until September 4th to prepare its response to a lawsuit brought by Jill Kelley
The Justice Department has asked for a 30-day extension until September 4th to prepare its response to a lawsuit brought by Jill Kelley

Kelley had been an unpaid social liaison to the military, and hosted parties for military officials such as General David Petraeus (at that time head of the CIA) and US Marine General John Allen at her home close to the headquarters of Central Command. She started to receive abusive emails. 

According to gossip site Radar Online, they included, “I know what you did,” “back off,” and “stay away from my guy.” Kelley reported the emails to the authorities, the FBI investigated and traced the source – and Petraeus was forced to resign over an affair with Paula Broadwell.

That should have been it – but Kelley then found herself faced with what she described as "highly hurtful and damaging publicity from willful leaks from high level government officials that were false and defamatory." 

"The investigators were only supposed to look at that email, per the Kelleys’ request," reported Forbes in June, "but they went snooping, she alleges."

Kelley believes that rather than just investigating the emails she had complained about, the FBI 'rifled' through her and her family's emails and leaked information from them, resulting in claims that she owed millions of dollars, had four lawsuits pending against her and two foreclosures, and more. 

On March 13, Jill Kelley and husband John Kelley filed a 64-page complaint (courtesy of the WSJ) against the FBI, the DoD and the United States. It complains that the defendants abused their powers. "If Defendants can wreak such emotional, reputational, and financial havoc on a couple as educated, intelligent, successful, and public-spirited as the Kelleys, they could certainly do so to anyone. Accordingly, this suit seeks not only to vindicate Plaintiffs’ legal rights, help restore their reputations, champion the truth, and otherwise attempt to make them whole, but also to deter Defendants from such egregious violations of privacy in the future."

They are seeking an apology, damages, costs, injunctive relief against further violations of their rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, an account of all the information gathered on them, and an investigation into who might have been responsible for the leaks.

Now the Justice Department has asked for more time to respond. According to USA Today, Kelley is not objecting. "We are pleased that the federal government appears to be taking this case seriously, and is taking extra time to conduct its internal inquiry in response to this lawsuit," Alan Raul, Kelley's lawyer, said in a statement.

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