Ex-CIA Boss Petraeus To Testify On Libya Attack

Former CIA Director David Petraeus has agreed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee tasked with investigating the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Libya.

General Petraeus, who vacated his post as the nation's top spy last week after admitting he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, will testify at a session being held in private on Friday.

He had been originally been scheduled to appear before the committee in the House of Representatives, but that appearance had been scrapped after he resigned from the CIA last week.

He is also likely to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

It is not clear whether the retired four-star general will be questioned about his relationship with Paula Broadwell - a storyline that has ensnared America's top commander in Afghanistan, a female military liaison in Florida and an FBI agent.

"It will be interesting to see what tenor it takes and what the senators and congressmen, assuming he gets before both houses, have to say before talking to him," military analyst retired colonel Jack Jacobs told NBC News.

"As you know, these hearings have a tendency to be less a question and answer period than it is an opportunity for the members to vent their spleen or talk about what they want to, so that part will be very, very interesting."

But as questions swirl over Gen Petraeus' affair with Ms Broadwell, Congress continues to seek answers about the September 11 attack in Benghazi in which four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

The Obama administration has been criticised for its immediate explanation of what caused the attacks, citing an online anti-Muslim film before later calling it a planned terrorist attack.

Michael Morell, acting director of the CIA, began answering questions about the attack on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The CIA has dismissed as "baseless" claims by Ms Broadwell that Libyan militants were held in covert prisons before the attack.

She alleged in a speech that the attack on the base was part of an attempt to free prisoners.

She also claimed that Gen Petraeus knew of the hidden cells - even though President Obama took away the CIA's power to take prisoners soon after he was inaugurated in January 2009.

Mr Obama, in his first news conference since securing re-election, told reporters that he has no evidence at this point that classified information was disclosed in the Petraeus scandal.  

Ms Broadwell, a West Point graduate and former US Army Reserve intelligence officer, had her security clearance suspended in light of the ongoing investigation into her relationship with Gen Petraeus, a US Army official said on Wednesday.

The official was not authorised to speak publicly about the clearance so requested anonymity.