WASHINGTON (CNN) – Earlier today, a federal trial court judge dismissed the civil lawsuit filed by former CIA employee Valerie Plame and her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson.
Judge John Bates explained in his ruling on Thursday that he was dismissing the couple’s suit because special considerations counseled against allowing them to pursue monetary damages against Vice President Cheney, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Richard Armitage.
First, Bates concluded that the couple could not sue for the disclosure of Plame’s identity because it appeared Congress had not intended that federal employees in Plame’s situation could recover damages against the federal government or its officials. Second, Bates dismissed the lawsuit because allowing it to proceed would likely cause “judicial intrusion into matters of national security” – matters which the Executive branch of the federal government has unique authority over. Finally, Bates noted that the couple had not filed the required administrative claim before coming to court. (Full ruling here)
The couple was seeking monetary damages because of the disclosure of Plame’s identity as a covert CIA operative. They have alleged that Plame was outed by the Bush administration as a consequence of Wilson’s criticism of the White House’s justifications for going to war in Iraq.
- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart