The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, said Cheney, presidential adviser Karl Rove, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and 10 other unnamed government officials and aides revealed Plame’s identity in retaliation for her husband — former Ambassador Joseph Wilson — criticizing the administration’s motives for invading Iraq.
“This lawsuit concerns the intentional and malicious exposure by senior officials of the federal government of … (Plame), whose job it was to gather intelligence to make the nation safer and who risked her life for her country,” the Wilsons’ lawyers said in the court documents, reported the Associated Press.
The civil lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount but seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride had no comment on the lawsuit. “This relates to a matter already before the courts, so our policy is not to comment on a matter in litigation,” she said in an e-mail, according to Reuters.
Columnist Robert Novak named Plame in a July 14, 2003 column, eight days after Wilson alleged in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the administration had misrepresented evidence to justify going to war in Iraq.
Several news outlets published stories naming Plame after Novak’s column appeared.
Libby is the sole administration official charged in connection with the leak investigation. He faces a trial in January over allegations he lied to FBI agents and a federal grand jury about when he learned of Plame’s identity and what he told reporters.
Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald told Rove’s lawyer in June that he had decided not to seek criminal charges against Rove.