David Petraeus' resignation was not linked to the September attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and he never passed classified information to the woman he was having an affair with, the former CIA director told an HLN journalist.
Petraeus, in conversations with HLN's Kyra Phillips, confirmed to her what his supporters have been saying about ongoing scandal.
"In our first conversation," Phillips said Thursday, Petraeus "had told me he had engaged in something dishonorable. He sought to do the honorable thing in response -- and that was to come forward. He was very clear that he screwed up terribly ... even felt fortunate to have a wife who is far better than he deserves."
Phillips, who knows Petraeus from several interviews, initially reached out to him to express shock at the news of the affair that derailed a highly decorated career in the military and CIA.
Among other things, Petraeus said he has not talked with Paula Broadwell, his biographer and woman he admitted an affair with, since the scandal broke.
"He insisted to me that he has never passed classified information to Paula Broadwell," Phillips said. "He said this has nothing to do with Benghazi, and he wants to testify. He will testify."
Petraeus is scheduled to testify Friday before the House Intelligence Committee, and a Senate aide confirmed that he also will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee that day.
The former CIA chief didn't try to persuade his bosses to let him keep his job once he admitted the affair, and "has maintained to me all along this was a personal failing," Phillips said.
Petraeus' extramarital affair ended months ago. But it continues to make waves in Washington, as suspicions ripple through the capital about the timing of its revelation and Petraeus' scheduled testimony into the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
In addition, the chain of fiery e-mails that led the FBI to discover the sexual indiscretion has caused collateral damage, putting the imminent nomination of Gen. John Allen to the highest echelons of military command on hold, until the nature of his e-mail exchange with a military "socialite" and his relationship with her have been clarified.
The FBI investigation was triggered by Frederick Humphries, a veteran agent who is a friend of Jill Kelley, whose contacts with Allen are being reviewed, said Lawrence Berger, general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Kelley contacted Humphries about anonymous e-mails that questioned her character and that led her to believe that someone was cyberstalking Petraeus and Allen.
Humphries took the information on the e-mails to the "appropriate components," Berger said. "He reported it to the proper channels and had no further part in the case."
Asked about reports that Humphries pestered the agents assigned to the case for information, Berger said that wasn't the case.
"I don't accept that. He followed proper protocols," he said.
The investigation led to the discovery of the affair between Petraeus, 60, and Broadwell, 40.
The fallout has been widespread, but there are signs that the FBI investigation is winding down, said CNN contributor Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director.
There is no indication of criminal activity on the part of Petraeus or that he disclosed classified information, senior federal law enforcement officials told Fuentes.
Separately, another senior law enforcement official said it appears unlikely that Broadwell will be prosecuted. Officials continued to review materials taken from her home, but it appears that any violations of releasing classified information appear not to be egregious.
At the same time, however, Broadwell's security clearance with the government has been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation, two U.S. officials with direct knowledge said.
Petraeus reportedly has not been following the media firestorm over the extramarital affair that led to his resignation.
"He wants to maintain a distance and focus on his family at this time," his aide, retired Col. Peter Mansoor, has said.
He is dealing with the moral implications of his actions and the long healing process ahead.
The affair with Broadwell ended about four months ago, Mansoor said, though the two remained in contact afterward, as she needed his help to finish her dissertation.
President Barack Obama has bypassed the chorus of congressional voices calling for an investigation into why the FBI did not notify Washington's leaders sooner about its investigation into the sexual indiscretion that put an end to the former CIA chief's career.
"I am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding Gen. Petraeus came up," Obama told reporters at the White House. Obama said he agreed with Petraeus' decision to resign after acknowledging an affair,