Sources close to the internal investigation into the David Petraeus scandal said that the commander of US Forces in Afghanistan General John Allen exchanged emails with 37-year-old Jill Kelley.
General John Allen, who is married who two daughters and leads US troops in Afghanistan denies any wrongdoing.
Officials claim his emails to Jill Kelley, who is also married with children, were simply friendly and not “inappropriate” or flirtatious.
Another official said that the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta would not have referred this matter to an internal investigator without being sure that he had to – such would be the effect on John Allen’s family and the US war effort.
“This was a serious enough matter that those who examined the emails thought it should be referred to the secretary of defense, and the secretary made the decision to turn it over to the inspector general,” the official said to Fox News.
“He would not have thrust this into the limelight without good cause.”
Sources are reviewing between 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails between Jill Kelley and General John Allen which date from between 2010 to 2012.
The investigation into the burgeoning scandal is ongoing – on Monday evening FBI agents searched Paula Broadwell’s Charlotte, North Carolina home and left with electronic equipment.
Further deepening the mire is news that the FBI agent who began the investigation into David Petraeus was taken off the case after it was found that he sent shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelley.
He is facing an internal investigation.
John Allen, 58, succeeded David Petraeus in Afghanistan and was due to take over as NATO’s top commander – but his appointment has been suspended while his relationship with Jill Kelley is investigated.
“General Allen disputes that he has engaged in any wrongdoing in this matter,” one official close to the case said to Fox News. He said John Allen currently is in Washington.
Since she was named as the “other other” woman in the David Petraeus affair, the spotlight has shone on Jill Kelley and her identical twin sister Natalie Khawam.