ABC News’ Jason Ryan and Theresa Cook report: A federal judge has dismissed a civil law suit filed by outed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.
The suit, filed by Plame Wilson and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, charged that Vice President Dick Cheney, White House political advisor Karl Rove, former Cheney aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage damaged her career by leaking her name. She has since resigned from the CIA.
"This case is not just about what top government officials did to Valerie and me," Joseph Wilson said in a statement after the ruling. "We brought this suit because we strongly believe that politicizing intelligence ultimately serves only to undermine the security of our nation.”
District of Columbia District Court Judge John D. Bates determined that the suit’s claims “pose important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials,” but dismissed the case because of a lack of constitutional remedy available to them.
President Bush appointed Bates to the bench in December 2001. Previously, he had served as deputy counsel to Kenneth Starr during the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
Plame Wilson’s identity was revealed in a syndicated column in July 2003. The revelation came shortly after Joseph Wilson criticized the Bush administration’s basis for the Iraq war in a New York Times op-ed. The couple has charged that the leak was part of a scheme to discredit Wilson’s claim.
Libby is the only person indicted in the CIA Leak probe; he was convicted by a jury in March on charges of lying to the FBI and a grand jury, as well as obstructing justice. President Bush commuted Libby’s 30-month prison term earlier this month.
Last week, Bush acknowledged publicly for the first time that "perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name" of Plame.
"I’m aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person," Bush told reporters during a White House press conference.
Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and one of the Wilsons’ lawyers, said in a statement, “While we are obviously very disappointed by today’s decision, we have always expected that this case would ultimately be decided by a higher court.”
“We disagree with the court’s holding and intend to pursue this case vigorously to protect all Americans from vindictive government officials who abuse their power for their own political ends,” Sloan’s statement continued.
CREW says the Wilsons’ lawyers are reviewing the decision, and anticipate filing an appeal.
Joseph Wilson said the “decision is just the first step in what we have always known would be a long legal battle and we are committed to seeing this case through."