Outed CIA Agent Plame Sues Cheney, Libby, and Rove

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The New York Sun

WASHINGTON — Vice President Cheney, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, and former Cheney assistant I. Lewis Libby were sued yesterday by a former covert CIA agent who says they illegally conspired to disclose her identity.

Valerie Plame, who worked at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., and her husband, the former American ambassador, Joseph Wilson, filed the suit in federal court in Washington. They are seeking unspecified financial damages.

The couple’s suit accuses Messrs. Cheney, Rove, Libby and other unidentified officials of violating their constitutional rights by conspiring to “discredit, punish and seek revenge” against Mr. Wilson for accusing President Bush’s administration of twisting intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. Mr. Libby faces criminal charges of lying and obstructing an investigation of the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity in 2003.

“The defendants reached an agreement to discredit, punish, and seek revenge against” Ms. Plame and Mr. Wilson, the suit said. The agreement “was motivated by an invidiously discriminatory animus towards those who had publicly criticized the administration’s stated justifications for going to war with Iraq,” according to the complaint.

Ms. Plame and Mr. Wilson plan to hold a news conference tomorrow in Washington. Calls to their lawyer, Christopher Wolf of Proskauer Rose LLP in Washington, were not immediately returned. Mr. Cheney’s office and Mr. Libby’s lawyer, William Jeffress, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. Rove spokesman Mark Corallo said he didn’t have an immediate comment.

Mr. Rove, Bush’s top political adviser, was told last month won’t face criminal charges in the three-year investigation into the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity in 2003.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald decision not to indict Mr.Rove removed a legal cloud from Mr. Bush’s closest political aide and suggested that Mr. Libby, Mr. Cheney’s former chief of staff, may be the only person to face criminal charges in the investigation. Mr. Libby resigned after he was indicted October 28. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for January.

Mr.Wilson, who served in Africa and was acting American ambassador to Iraq under President George H.W. Bush, was sent by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein’s regime was seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger.

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