Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (Calif.) the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, offered a vigorous defense of David Petraeus, who according to reports could face felony charges over allegations that he leaked classified information to his mistress while he was serving as CIA director.
“This man has suffered enough, in my view. He's the four-star general of our generation," she said on CNN's "State of the Union." " . . . He made a mistake. He lost his job as CIA director because of it. I mean, how much do you want to punish somebody?"
The New York Times first reported Friday that FBI and Justice Department officials have recommended that Attorney General Eric Holder seek an indictment against Petraeus, who resigned his post in 2012.
Holder, who appeared on several morning talk shows on Sunday, called the investigation an "ongoing matter" and cast some doubts on the veracity of the reports.
"I will say that frequently those things that are leaked to the media are done so by people who aren’t in a position to know and are frequently inaccurate," he said on "State of the Union." "We have done this investigation, I think, in an appropriate way. An appropriate determination will be done, and it will be done in a way that the American people will ultimately decide was fair to everyone who was involved."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), also appearing on CNN, said that the case has been mishandled, though he stopped short of weighing in on whether Petraeus should be indicted.
"I can’t make that judgment, because I don’t know the information. But I do know . . . this man is unique. He is one of the great leaders," he said. ". . . Obviously he deserves better treatment than having a leak to the New York Times about a recommendation which is a violation of his rights and any citizen's rights"