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Jill Kelley lawyer says government is investigating leaks

TAMPA — An attorney for socialite Jill Kelley said Friday that both the U.S. Department of Defense and the Justice Department are investigating allegations about government leaks in the case.

This could not immediately be confirmed. U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill, whose jurisdiction is the Middle District of Florida, said he was unaware of any investigation. But he said he was unsure what Justice Department officials would do.

Abbe Lowell, a New York attorney representing Kelley, said in an email, "Both the DOJ and DOD have indicated they are investigating the disclosures of information about the Kelleys that occurred and about which we complained."

He said Justice and Defense Department officials referred the matter to their respective inspector generals, which he said investigate agency wrongdoing. Justice and Defense Department officials would neither confirm nor deny that they are investigating leaks.

O'Neill's office sent a letter to Lowell Thursday responding to allegations about possible government leaks in the case. But both O'Neill and Lowell declined to release a copy.

In an interview, O'Neill said he is yet to hear any specific detail about who Lowell believes leaked the information. He said identifying a leak in a case in which many people had access to the information is a difficult challenge.

"I imagine like any leak you need specific information," O'Neill said.

Lowell sent a letter to O'Neill's staff last month asking for an investigation and warning that he was considering a civil suit against the federal government for violations of Kelley's privacy. While indicating he was unsure of the source of leaks, he suggested it may be the FBI.

"The earliest and best example of the leaks would be the release to the media of the names of my clients," Lowell wrote, noting the leaks may violate the federal Privacy Act.

Over the summer, Kelley, 37, told an FBI agent about anonymous and threatening emails she had received, which ultimately exposed an extramarital affair between biographer Paula Broadwell and then-CIA director David Petraeus.

In other developments, the Daily Mail in London is reporting that Kelley plans to write what the tabloid said is a "tell-all book" and "is understood to have held preliminary talks with publishers."

The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, quotes at least one unidentified friend of Kelley saying the book will be "payback" for the humiliation of being linked to the scandal. The most-humiliating part for Kelley, according to the Daily Mail, has been being compared to reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian.

Times Staff Writer Richard Danielson contributed to this report.

Jill Kelley lawyer says government is investigating leaks 12/07/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 7, 2012 11:13pm]

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