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Prosecutors weigh charges against former CIA chief David Petraeus involving classified information

WASHINGTON -- Federal prosecutors have recommended that David Petraeus face charges over allegations that he provided classified documents to his biographer, raising the prospect of criminal proceedings against the retired four-star general and former CIA director.

The recommendation follows a federal probe into how the biographer, Paula Broadwell, apparently obtained classified records several years ago while working on a book about Petraeus. Broadwell, an Army reservist, was also his mistress, and the documents were discovered by investigators during the scandal that forced Petraeus' resignation as CIA director in November 2012. He had become director in September 2011.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. must decide whether to pursue charges against Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment, as did Robert Barnett, a lawyer for Petraeus. Both Petraeus and Broadwell have denied in the past that he provided her with classified information.

The prosecutors' recommendation was first reported last night on the website of The New York Times, which said Petraeus has rejected the possibility of a plea deal.

Federal investigators first searched Broadwell's home in Charlotte, North Carolina, in November 2012 and seized records and computer equipment.

Her book on Petraeus, "All In," was published in January 2012.

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