Valerie Wilson and her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, filed suit on Thursday against Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Cheney?s former top aide and the senior presidential adviser Karl Rove, charging they had conspired to violate their constitutional rights.The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court, accused Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rove and the former Cheney aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr., of conspiring to destroy Ms. Wilson?s career by leaking her identity as an undercover C.I.A. operative to the press. It says the three men had conspired to punish Mr. Wilson for his public assertions that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.
The civil lawsuit, which does not specify any amount of damages being sought, is the latest chapter in a complicated legal and political story that began when Valerie Plame, Ms. Wilson?s unmarried name, first appeared publicly in a newspaper column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003.
The fallout from that disclosure led to an investigation by a special prosecutor into whether the leak violated any laws and whether Ms. Wilson?s name was leaked as part of a campaign to punish Mr. Wilson, a former ambassador, for his criticism of the White House.
The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, did not bring any charges in connection with laws that prohibit the willful disclosure of the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency officer. But he did indict Mr. Libby, also known as Scooter, on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, saying he had testified untruthfully to a grand jury and federal agents when he said he learned about Ms. Wilson?s role at the C.I.A. from reporters rather than from several officials, including Mr. Cheney. – nytimes