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Another Stab at the Truth

Plame and Wilson say the defendants conspired to "discredit, punish and seek revenge against the plaintiffs that included, among other things, disclosing to members of the press Plaintiff Valerie Plame Wilson's classified CIA employment."

Eric M. Weiss and Charles Lane write in The Washington Post, "legal analysts said the civil lawsuit could open new avenues for extracting information from the administration, because Plame and Wilson could conduct discovery if the U.S. District Court in Washington lets the suit proceed.

"Plame and Wilson might be entitled to demand documents from Cheney and others, as well as to require them to sit for sworn depositions, much as President Bill Clinton had to answer questions under oath in Paula Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit.

"And, because the accusations in the suit are separate from the issue Fitzgerald was looking into -- whether anyone violated a federal law against disclosing CIA officers' identities -- Plame and Wilson 'could go out and look into a lot of things that Fitzgerald didn't look into,' said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles."

Richard B. Schmitt writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Though legal experts were divided over the strength of the allegations, the suit is likely to become a rallying point for administration critics -- in a similar manner, perhaps, to the focus by partisans a decade ago on Paula Jones' sexual harassment litigation against President Clinton. In this case, the charges are rooted in one of the most divisive and intensely debated issues of the Bush presidency: whether the administration twisted the intelligence it used to justify the war in Iraq."

Neil A. Lewis writes in the New York Times: "But the suit is also likely to face major hurdles, notably the issue of whether the officials have any immunity for their actions. The general standard from a 1982 Supreme Court case is that federal officials may be sued for violating someone's constitutional rights if a reasonable person would believe they had violated 'clearly established law.'"

Toni Locy writes for the Associated Press: "Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said, 'Without even having had a chance to review the complaint, it is clear that the allegations are absolutely and utterly without merit.'"

The Wilson's have set up a Web site for the Joseph and Valerie Wilson Legal Support Trust.

Novak vs. Waas

Earlier this week, syndicated columnist Robert Novak broke his long and unseemly silence on the case, in a column and several appearances on Fox News.

Novak didn't say much we didn't know already. But some of what he said just wasn't true.

Justin Rood of the liberal TPM Muckraker Web site noted yesterday: "Trying to dodge criticism for his role in outing Valerie Plame, columnist Bob Novak last night attacked a National Journal story by Murray Waas on Fox's Hannity and Colmes. 'I know that the Murray Waas piece in the National Journal, which interestingly was not picked up by anybody, was totally wrong and a total lie,' he said. . . .

"In truth, two major news outlets confirmed the National Journal story the same day it was published, May 25. . . .

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