During a July 7 hearing, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) asked FBI Director James Comey about Petraeus:
CUMMINGS: If I understand that case correctly, General Petraeus kept highly classified information in eight personal notebooks at his private residence. Is that correct?
COMEY: That is correct.
CUMMINGS: According to the filings on that case, his notebook included the identities of covert officers. He also included war strategy, intelligence capabilities, diplomatic discussions, quotes and (inaudible) discussions from high level national security council meetings and discussions with the president.
General Petraeus shared his information with his lover and then biographer. He was caught on audio tape telling her, and I quote, "I mean, they are highly classified, some of them. They don't have it -- it on -- on it, but I mean, there's code word stuff in there," end of quote.
Director Comey, what did General Petraeus mean when he said he intentionally shared, quote, "code word" information with her? What does that mean?
COMEY: The Petraeus case, to my mind, illustrates perfectly the kind of cases the Department of Justice is willing to prosecute. Even there, they prosecuted him for a misdemeanor. In that case, you had vast quantities of highly classified information, including special sensitive compartmented information. That's the reference to code words. Vast quantity of it. Not only shared with someone without authority to have it, but we found it in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic and then he lied to us about it during the investigation.
So you have obstruction of justice, you have intentional misconduct and a vast quantity of information. He admitted he knew that was the wrong thing to do. That is a perfect illustration of the kind of cases that get prosecuted. In my mind, it illustrates importantly the distinction to this case.
CUMMINGS: And General Petraeus did not admit to these facts when the FBI investigators first interviewed him, did he?
COMEY: No, he lied about it.