FBI and Department of Justice investigators have finally concluded preliminary investigations and recommended that federal charges be brought against former CIA director David Petraeus.

The investigation and charges stem from a 2012 scandal involving Petraeus and his biographer and lover Paula Broadwell. Petraeus was forced to resign from the CIA based on allegations that he had given Broadwell access to his CIA e-mail account, and other classified material.

If it seems like this scandal has been dragging on forever, it’s because it’s been dragging on forever:

The protracted process has also frustrated Mr. Petraeus’s friends and political allies, who say it is unfair to keep the matter hanging over his head. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, wrote to Mr. Holder last month that the investigation had deprived the nation of wisdom from one of its most experienced leaders.

“At this critical moment in our nation’s security,” he wrote, “Congress and the American people cannot afford to have his voice silenced or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation marked by leaks from anonymous sources.”

Since his resignation from the C.I.A. on Nov. 10, 2012, Mr. Petraeus has divided his time between teaching, making lucrative speeches and working as a partner in one of the world’s largest private-equity firms, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Mr. Holder has said little publicly about the investigation. The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked by reporters in December why it was taking so long, said: “I can’t say. I mean, I guess I could say, but I won’t say.”

Both Senator McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have come out publicly against what they believe has been a mishandled investigation.

Although the investigators have recommended charges, it’s up to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to decide whether or not formal charges will be filed.