POLITICS

Dianne Feinstein: David Petraeus News 'Was Like A Lightning Bolt' (VIDEO)

11/11/2012 09:57 am ET | Updated Nov 11, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday her committee will investigate the Federal Bureau of Investigation after it failed to inform them in advance of its findings on former CIA Director David Petraeus, who resigned Friday after admitting to an affair.

"We received no advance notice. It was like a lightning bolt," she told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

The FBI is required by law to keep Intelligence Committee members abreast of developments of this nature, but Feinstein said did not hear of its findings on Petraeus until Friday morning, when her staff faced inquiries from the press.

She initially said that President Barack Obama should not have accepted Petraeus' resignation, but she told Wallace she didn't have all the details when she made that statement. Feinstein said she now knows that the FBI found out about the affair while investigating threatening emails between Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom Petraeus had the affair, and another woman. "I can't believe it, but that's what it is," she said of the matter.

"When you realize additional complications, which I did not at the time when I spoke to him, I think he did the right thing," she said. "I think the president really had no choice but to accept that resignation."

Feinstein shot down one issue of speculation as to why Petraeus resigned, saying there was "absolutely not" a connection to the Sept. 11 attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She also said he still may testify on the attacks, despite his resignation.

"We may well ask," she said. ''I think that's up to the committee."

Feinstein said she remains saddened by the entire situation, particularly due to Petraeus' status as a retired four star general.

"For me, it's a heartbreak," she said. "This is a truly bright man, a credible person, a great leader, and could have really been a super transitional figure for the CIA. This is very, very hard."

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he also has questions about the way the FBI handled the Petraeus information, particularly the timing of when it was revealed.

"It seems to me it's been going on for several months, and now it appears that the FBI didn't realize until Election Day that General Petraeus was involved," he said. "It just doesn't add up that you have this type of investigation, the FBI investigating emails, the emails leading to the CIA director, and taking four months to find out that the CIA director was involved."

Appearing in the same segment, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said he also has questions about the matter, but dinged King for implying it may have been due to the election.

"I don't see a conspiracy behind every curtain as some of my colleagues do," he said.

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