The Army general involved in managing Russia’s incursion into Europe was fired from that job following an investigation that confirmed he had carried out an extramarital affair for over 10 years and led a “swinger lifestyle.”
Maj. Gen. David Haight, who until May ran operations for U.S. European Command, had an extramarital affair with a military contractor he met in Iraq in 2005. They regularly had sexual encounters and visited clubs and held parties with multiple partners and other couples, the investigation showed.
Extramarital affairs violate military law, and such activity makes such a high-profile Army figure vulnerable to blackmail, presenting a significant security risk. Haight, who was a key adviser to former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen during the 2011 operation that killed Osama bin Laden, would have had access to high-level national security information.
A government official told USA Today, which first reported the story, that Russia regularly listens in on phone conversations. An investigation found that Haight made 84 private phone conversations from his government cellphone, totaling more than 1,400 minutes. He also regularly sent emails to his mistress, Jennifer Armstrong, from his Army account. She provided copies of their communication to USA Today.
It is unclear how someone in such a high-profile position who was routinely promoted could keep such extensive illicit activity secret.
“I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused my wife and family,” Haight, who has four grown children, said Wednesday in a statement. “On their behalf, I ask that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”
USA Today initially reported Haight’s firing in July, but this week revealed the details of the Army inspector general’s report it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Armstrong, who has a tattoo with Haight’s name, said the two continued their affair even as the Army general was moved between various postings. He was stationed at the Pentagon and Fort Benning, Ga., and served as deputy commander of U.S. and NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan.
Haight has refused to testify to Army investigators or answer questions regarding his affairs. His retirement rank, which will determine his pension pay, will be decided by a board. A demotion could cost him tens of thousands of dollars a year.