Shirtless photo of FBI agent was joke, not flirtation

Brendan James
The Ticket

One of the more jarring twists in the unfolding scandal surrounding retired Gen. David Petraeus' affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell—that the FBI agent who kicked off the investigation sent shirtless photos to another player in the controversy, Tampa, Fla., socialite Jill Kelley—has turned out to be a less salacious event than originally reported.

The agent, Frederick Humphries, is a veteran of the FBI who has handled several high-profile terrorist cases and trained with SWAT and Special Forces soldiers. Years before Kelley contacted him about the anonymous emails she was receiving, which led to the discovery of the Petreaus-Broadwell affair, Humphries sent family and friends—including Kelley—a photo of himself between two bare-chested dummies at MacDill Air Force Base.

Noting his likeness to the bald and shirtless dummies, Humphries captioned the photo, "Which one's Fred?" according to the Seattle Times. Friends have confirmed the email was a joke and noted his general tendency toward this sort of humor; his wife even had the image framed.

Humphries, however, still remains in the middle of the controversy. Though he originally brought the email case to the FBI cybercrime department (the emails were eventually determined to have been sent by Broadwell), he became impatient with the department and took what he knew to U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert. Reichert eventually shared this information with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who spoke with the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller. Now, according to the Times, Humphries himself is the subject of an internal FBI investigation.