Administration Moves to Silence Woman at the Center of Petraeus Scandal

Jill Kelley's privacy lawsuit fails to present sufficient facts, federal officials claim

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Chris O'Meara / AP

In this Nov. 13, 2012, file photo, Jill Kelley leaves her home in Tampa, Fla.

The Justice Department on Tuesday called for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a Florida socialite at the center of the infamous sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus last November.

In June, Jill Kelley and her husband filed the suit seeking redress from the Pentagon, FBI and unnamed federal agents for their part in allegedly violating the Privacy Act by leaking Kelley’s name to the news media and accessing her email account. According to a CNN report, the Obama administration is asking that the lawsuit be thrown out because of its failure to present “any facts to show the FBI, Defense Department and others had violated Jill Kelley’s rights”.

(More: Who’s Who in the David Petraeus ‘Love Pentagon’ Scandal)

In the event that a federal judge allows the case to go to trial, prosecutors would most likely investigate the role that federal agencies, including the Pentagon and Obama administration, played in the case following the revelation of Petraeus’s affair with his former biographer Paula Broadwell that led to the retired four-star general’s precipitous fall from grace

Kelley’s involvement in the scandal stems from her initial contact with the FBI in May 2012 after she began receiving threatening messages from an anonymous email account controlled by Broadwell. The ensuing investigation blew the lid off Petraeus’s secret affair but also brought the Tampa socialite into the public sphere, where she believes she was unfairly portrayed by the media due to falsified information that was leaked to news outlets by federal officials.