A high-profile general is now caught up in the scandal that led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus.
The Department of Defense has begun an internal investigation into emails from Gen. John Allen, the successor to Petraeus as head of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and a nominee to head U.S. European Command, to the Florida woman tangled up in Petraeus’ sex scandal.
In the latest revelations, a Pentagon official said there were “inappropriate communications” — 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents – between Allen and Jill Kelley, the woman allegedly harassed by Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell. It’s those comments that led to an investigation that ultimately brought light to the affair between Broadwell and Petraeus.
Allen has denied wrongdoing. If Allen was found to have had an affair with Kelley, he could face charges of adultery, which is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Pentagon official would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorized disclosures of classified information. He said he did not know whether Petraeus is mentioned in the emails.
In a White House statement early Tuesday, National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor said President Obama has held Allen’s nomination at Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s request. Obama, the statement said, “remains focused on fully supporting our extraordinary troops and coalition partners in Afghanistan, who Gen. Allen continues to lead as he has so ably done for over a year.”