Nightly News | November 12, 2012
>>> department are standing by their handling of the petraeus case. our justice correspondent pete williams is outside the justice department tonight, pete, good evening.
>> reporter: brian, officials here concede there are no rules for reporting the discovery that the senior member of the intelligence community is having an affair. but they say there are rules against disclosing what is going on during a criminal investigation . law enforcement officials say the fbi began by tracing where those threatening e-mails sent to jill kellyy were coming from. armed with legal authority , the fbi got access to her e-mail account and found she sent them. but they said her e-mail account also included what appeared to be suggestive e-mails from david petraeus , that first they wondered if somebody hacked into his private account. interviewed separately, both admitted their affair, officials say. broadwell, in late september , petraeus, in october, low-level documents were found on her computer. after reviewing all the evidence prosecutors found there was no crime committed. no leaking of classified information . no threat to national security . some say they, or at least president obama should have been told about the investigation while it was going on.
>> once the fbi realized they were investigating the ciaing director, or they came within the scope, i believe at that time they had the absolute right to tell the president.
>> reporter: but the justice department official says the fbi never tells other agencies when they're in the middle of a criminal investigation . they note that federal law says that congressional intelligence committees must be notified of all intelligence activities, and the affair didn't meet that test. and they say the fbi is sensitive to its past when former doctor hoover gave details to get what it wanted.
>> the only time would be if the fbi was found to have leaked classified information . and that was not the case, the fbi followed the right protocols and did the right thing in this case.
>> reporter: officials here say that general clapper, the director of intelligence, was told about all of this with no recommendations made last week as a personnel matter, not as an intelligence matter.
>> all right, pete williams at