Local television stations showed agents carrying boxes out of the two-story brick house Broadwell shares with her husband, a radiologist, and two young sons. Agents also appeared to be taking photographs inside the house.
Broadwell has not been seen at the home or commented since the news of Petraeus’s resignation broke Friday. On Monday, she hired a prominent Washington defense lawyer, Robert F. Muse.
The search was the latest chapter in the story of Petraeus’s fall from grace. It came on the same day that two longtime military aides to Petraeus said that he did not intend to resign until it became clear that his extramarital affair with Broadwell would become public after the first phase of the FBI investigation of his e-mail accounts.
While investigating complaints from a woman in Tampa that Broadwell had sent her threatening e-mails last summer, the FBI discovered explicit e-mail exchanges between Petraeus and Broadwell that exposed their affair. The investigation also raised questions about whether Broadwell may have possessed classified material, and the search Monday night was related to that, the senior law enforcement official said.
“I don’t think it’s a game changer,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on an ongoing investigation. “It was done to resolve things with a greater level of confidence.”
In a farewell letter last week to CIA staff members, Petraeus described his affair with Broadwell as behavior that is “unacceptable both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.” The statement and others from his allies in the days that followed created an impression that he had stepped down of his own volition, and out of a sense of moral obligation.
But some of his closest advisers who served with him during his last command in Iraq said Monday that Petraeus planned to stay in the job even after he acknowledged the affair to the FBI, hoping the episode would never become public. He resigned last week after being told to do so by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. on the day President Obama was reelected.
“Obviously, he knew about the relationship for months, he knew about the affair, he was in it, so yes, he was not going to resign,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and Petraeus’s executive officer during the Iraq “surge,” who spoke Monday with the former general for about half an hour. “But once he knew it was going to go public, he thought that resigning was the right thing to do. There is no way it would have remained private.”