Presidential appointees often come with some sort of baggage. But retired Gen. David Petraeus, whom President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly considering for secretary of state, is potentially in a league of his own.
The former CIA director — who pleaded guilty in 2015 to mishandling classified information that he shared with his mistress, Paula Broadwell — would apparently need to get permission from a probation officer to leave North Carolina to fulfill his duties as secretary of state, a condition of Petraeus’ two-year probation.
“The defendant shall notify the probation officer within 72 hours of any change in residence or employment,” read a court judgment, which was shared on Twitter by USA Today reporter Brad Heath. “The defendant shall not leave the Western District of North Carolina without the permission of the Court or probation officer. Travel allowed for work as approved by U.S. probation office.”
Another condition would give the probation officer the right to search Petraeus’ personal and office computers without a warrant.
“The defendant shall submit his person, residence, office, vehicle and/or any computer system including computer data storage media, or any electronic device capable of storing, retrieving, and/or accessing data to which they have access or control, to a search, from time to time, conducted by any U.S. Probation Officer and such other law enforcement personnel as the probation officer may deem advisable, without a warrant,” the document read.
Gen. Petraeus, one of the people on Trump's list for Secretary of State, has to check with his probation officer before leaving western N.C. pic.twitter.com/ay64N3JYIQ
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) November 30, 2016
All of which may be why some political analysts say Trump would have to pardon Petraeus before any confirmation hearings could begin.
“There would be several problems with his confirmation,” Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday. “At the time of his guilty plea, he admitted to taking federal government property. That would bar him from holding a federal office.”
Additionally, there would be a deep sense of irony if Trump picks Petraeus to lead his State Department. During the campaign, he raged at Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information while she was secretary of state, which he said should disqualify her from the presidency.
On Monday, the president-elect met with Petraeus at Trump Tower to talk about the position, tweeting that he came away “very impressed” with the retired general.
Just met with General Petraeus–was very impressed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
Trump is said to be considering at least four other candidates for secretary of state: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton.