The material contained eight notebooks worth of “code words, war strategy, the names of covert officers and other sensitive information. In addition, they outlined deliberative discussions with the National Security Council and President Obama.” The Justice Department said if this information were disclosed to the wrong people, it would cause “exceptionally grave damage.”
Petraeus also lied to the FBI during the investigation and admitted to having an affair with Paula Broadwell, the biographer who received the classified information. The presentation of the case included felony charges of lying to the FBI and violating a section of the Espionage Act, both of which could mean years in prison. However, those charges were never filed, and Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified material.
Last year a federal court sentenced Petraeus to two years probation and fined him $100,000. He was still subject to discipline under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But in a three-sentence letter to Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jack Reed, it was revealed that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter agreed with the Army not to discipline Petraeus at all.