Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday it was “imperative” that retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned last week as head of the CIA, answer questions about the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. She also said members of Congress needed to learn more about how much the general’s “friend” knew about secret military and intelligence information.
“There are so many unanswered questions at this point,” Sen. Collins said when asked about Petraeus at a press conference with Sen.-elect Angus King.
Petraeus, who led the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned as head of the CIA Friday after it was revealed that he had had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
“I am puzzled by much of what has occurred in the FBI investigation,” Collins said. “And also the latest information that perhaps Gen. Petraeus’ friend had access to some classified information. We don’t know if that’s true or not.”
The FBI began an investigation earlier this year after another woman notified the agency that she was receiving harassing emails from Broadwell, who apparently saw her as a romantic rival. The woman, Jill Kelley, was a friend of the Petraeuses and hosted military events at her Tampa home.
NBC News reported that Broadwell was “under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access [Petraeus’] email and possibly gaining access to classified information,” citing law enforcement officials.
The investigation uncovered that Petraeus and Broadwell had an affair.
“I will say that I think it is absolutely imperative that Gen. Petraeus come and testify,” added Sen. Collins, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
In that capacity, she and Sen. Joe Lieberman, the committee chairman, launched an investigation into the Benghazi attacks. There are numerous questions about why U.S. officials didn’t anticipate the attacks, which killed four, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and why there was not more security at the embassy.