Federal authorities are investigating another U.S. general for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a woman related to the scandal that brought down CIA chief Gen. David Petraeus.
The Defense Department Inspector General is reviewing communications between Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and Jill Kelley, who has been linked to the e-mail scandal that led to Petraeus' resignation last week. The department is currently reviewing 20,000 to 30,000 documents -- described mostly as e-mails -- between Allen and Kelley, an acquaintance of Petraeus, a senior Defense Department official said.
"Right now we're looking into potentially inappropriate communications, that's what the IG has been tasked to review. I'm not in a position at this stage, this early, having been notified only yesterday, to characterize the relationship between the two," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The source said Allen denied the allegations.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the FBI referred the "matter" to the Pentagon on Sunday and that he ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen on Monday.
As a result of the investigation, Allen's nomination as NATO's supreme allied commander has been put on hold. However, Allen will remain commander of ISAF during the investigation.
Petraeus resigned as CIA director on Friday after it was revealed that he had been having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The affair was discovered during an investigation into "harassing" e-mails allegedly sent from Broadwell's e-mail account to another woman, reported to be Kelley.
Described as a prolific e-mail user, Petraeus covered his discussions with Broadwell by communicating via draft e-mail, a tactic favored by terrorists and teenagers. Instead of actually e-mailing each other, they would compose messages in dummy accounts but not send them. The other person would then log into the same account to read the drafts, making the messages harder to trace.