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Federal court urged to dismiss Plame CIA leak lawsuit

[JURIST] A lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney urged a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] brought by former CIA operative Valerie Plame [WP profile] against members of the Bush administration, arguing that the lawsuit is based on "fanciful claims." Plame filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that White House officials violated her constitutional rights to free speech, privacy, and due process by leaking her identity in 2003. In addition to Cheney, former VP aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [JURIST news archive], White House adviser Karl Rove, and former State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage [JURIST report] are also named as defendants.

Plame's identity as a CIA operative was leaked in a 2003 syndicated newspaper column by Robert Novak after her diplomat-husband Joseph Wilson [BBC profile] reported that contrary to Bush administration assertions, Saddam Hussein was not trying to buy uranium from Niger. In March, Plame testified [JURIST report] before the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee [official investigation website] that the White House and US Department of State "carelessly and recklessly" blew her cover in an effort to discredit Wilson because of his criticism of the administration. Libby was convicted [JURIST report] in March of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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