Commander of the International Security Assistance Force/U.S. Forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus shakes hands with author, Paula Broadwell
It's a case of déjà vu in D.C.: some of the same high-profile, high-priced handlers who played supporting roles in the scandal over President Bill Clinton's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky have re-emerged in the sex scandal that has toppled one U.S. national security chief and threatens another.
It is unclear what will be the roles of the expensive legal and crisis-management talent drawn into the uproar over the relationships between former CIA Director, David Petraeus and Marine General John Allen and two female acquaintances. Neither Republicans nor Democrats in Congress appear to have an appetite for another year-long Monica-style media spectacle.
The latest scandal began with an FBI investigation into cyber-harassment, and indications so far are that ultimately the inquiry will produce no criminal charges.
Nonetheless, both women at the centre of attention - Petraeus biographer and former mistress Paula Broadwell and Tampa socialite, Jill Kelley, the woman to whom Broadwell is alleged to have sent suspected harassing emails - have turned for advice to veteran Washington lawyers and spin doctors with connections to the Lewinsky brouhaha.
On Monday, a source close to the Kelley family said that two Washington-based players in the Lewinsky scandal, trial lawyer, Abbe Lowell and public relations adviser, Judy Smith, were working for Kelley.
A day later, a Washington law firm which represented Lewinsky herself confirmed that one of its partners, Robert F. Muse, was representing Broadwell. The three advisors either were unavailable for comment or declined to comment.
It is not known whether Petraeus or Allen, who is the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, have retained attorneys.