Pentagon Flags 60 Emails in Jill Kelley Inquiry

As big-time lawyer defends client in Petraeus scandal

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 28, 2012 6:52 AM CST | Updated Nov 28, 2012 7:53 AM CST

(Newser) – The Pentagon inspector general’s office didn't take the Gen. John Allen-Jill Kelley email exchange lightly, assigning 15 investigators toiling seven days a week to review the thousands of pages of documents. They've now sussed out between 60 and 70 emails that "bear a fair amount of scrutiny," according to a defense official, who didn't elaborate on what those emails might contain. The New York Times reports the purpose of the investigation, which likely won't conclude until 2013, is to determine if one of three violations occurred: misconduct (ie, adultery or inappropriate language), substantial use of government property for personal matters, or a security breach.

Those investigators aren't the only ones getting busy. A previously silent Kelley is now defending herself, through her attorney. Abbe Lowell, a big-time Washington lawyer who has represented Bill Clinton and John Edwards, yesterday released emails, phone recordings, and more evidence that, he says, prove Kelley did not try to exploit her relationship with David Petraeus. He also sent out three letters connected to the scandal, the AP reports:

  • He asked the US Attorney's Office in Tampa why Kelley's name was released in the first place, adding that federal privacy laws could apply.
  • He wrote another letter to a businessman Kelley was trying to help make a deal with South Korea, before she lost her honorary consul status. The businessman, Adam Victor, has said in interviews that Kelley was not a skilled negotiator, and Lowell says he defamed her in an attempt to bask in his "15 minutes of fame."
  • In a letter to the Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (which fields complaints about lawyers), Lowell accuses attorney Barry Cohen of talking publicly about conversations he had with Kelley in 2009, thus breaking attorney-client privilege.

In this Nov. 13, 2012, file photo, Jill Kelley leaves her home in Tampa, Fla. S
In this Nov. 13, 2012, file photo, Jill Kelley leaves her home in Tampa, Fla. S   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
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