William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE SCANDAL EXPANDS – AT 8:25 A.M. ET:  The Petraeus scandal will not go away, as long as Republican members of Congress and the more mature elements of the press pursue it.  It's too important, impacts national security, and raises the gravest questions about whether the Obama administration is just a political machine that places its political interests above all else.  From Fox:

Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller are facing mounting questions over why they neglected to tell the rest of the Obama administration about the investigation into David Petraeus until Election Day, with one top lawmaker now demanding an explanation.

The FBI apparently was sitting in two inquiries. One involved the extramarital affair uncovered between Petraeus and biographer Paula Broadwell. The other involved "inappropriate communications" between lead commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen and Jill Kelley, a woman tied to the Petraeus scandal.

Though the FBI investigation that stumbled onto Petreaus' affair had been underway since as early as June and Holder knew since late summer, the Justice Department did not loop in Director of National Intelligence James Clapper -- who then told the White House -- until last Tuesday.

It's unclear how long the FBI was looking at Allen, but according to the Pentagon that case was not forwarded to them until this past Sunday.

Mueller works for Holder, and Holder is the most political attorney general since John Mitchell, Nixon's guy, except possibly for the hopeless Janet Reno

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, fired off letters on Tuesday to Holder and Mueller demanding answers about when they knew and why this was kept so secret.

"Since the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus on Friday, Nov 9, it has become clear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began an investigation this summer that uncovered his extramarital affair with a journalist as well as possible breaches of security," he wrote. "However, White House and Congressional officials were reportedly first notified of the investigation and (its) connection to General Petraeus just last week."

Smith said he wants "clarification" on the timeline.

Lawmakers are also openly questioning when Petraeus first knew about the investigation -- and whether it impacted his statements to Congress on Sept. 14 about the Libya terror attack.

COMMENT:  It is very sordid.  Withholding information until after the election simply cannot be justified in any way.  It is hard to believe that Holder did not tell the president informally about the probe into Petraeus's behavior.

Fox is taking this seriously, as is the Washington Post.  NBC and The Times seem bothered that they have to deal with anything so distracting, when The One must be glorified.  ABC is doing some good work.

This is far more important than Watergate.   The probe must expand, and we must have televised hearings.

November 14,  2012