Carter, in whom the decision rests, is reportedly considering the reduction in rank as punishment after Petraeus admitted to sharing classified documents with his then biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus stepped down as director of the CIA in 2012 after his affair with Broadwell was made public. Last year he pleaded guilty to giving her notebook containing classified information compiled during his time as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The Dept. of the Army has not recommended that Petraeus not have his rank reduced, however Carter is reportedly willing to consider overruling that recommendation.
According to sources, Carter wants to be consistent in his treatment of senior officers who engage in misconduct. He also wants to send a message that even men with as much power Petraeus are capable of being punished.
According to military regulations, if Petraeus is stripped of his fourth star, he could be demoted to the last rank in which he “satisfactorily” served. This also means Petraeus might have to pay back the difference in benefits he’s received as a retired four-star general, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told CNN, "The Department of the Army is still in the process of providing the secretary with information relevant to former Secretary McHugh's recommendation,” he said. “Once the secretary has an opportunity to consider this information, he will make his decision about next steps, if any, in this matter."
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 19, 2016
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