General Petraeus could avoid jail time over scandal

Former CIA director David Petraeus faces probation and a fine if a plea deal is approved. The general pleaded guilty to sharing classified information with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell.

The guilty plea was intended to spare Petraeus any jail time, but it still has to be approved by a judge and the sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

Petraeus admitted giving his biographer and lover several notebooks he knew contained highly classified information -- and then lying about it to the FBI.

"Perhaps my experience can be instructive to others who stumble, or indeed fall as far as I did," he said.

Mishandling classified information is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.

In the plea agreement, the Justice Department will ask the judge to impose two years' probation and a $40,000 fine. That's comparable to what former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger received for trying to steal classified documents from the National Archives.

Lying to the FBI is a more serious felony, but the Justice Department did not charge Petraeus with that crime, apparently because there was no recording of the alleged lie.

Petraeus admitted to giving Broadwell eight black books in which he took notes while serving as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

His notes included "the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities ... [and] discussions with the president."

When confronted by FBI agents, Petraeus maintained he had never disclosed any classified information to Broadwell.

After their affair was revealed, Petraeus resigned from the CIA.

He signed a document stating "there is no classified material in my possession" -- even though those the notebooks were still stored in an unlocked desk drawer at his home.

This guilty plea may not be the end of it for Petraeus. The CIA inspector general had been investigating whether he misused his security detail in carrying on his affair with Broadwell and the Army could still take action against him for having mishandled classified information while on active duty.