[JURIST] US Vice President Dick Cheney and his former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive] asked a federal court Tuesday to dismiss the civil lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] brought against them and other current and former administration officials by Valerie Plame, the undercover operative whose revealed identity precipitated the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive]. Cheney argued that his office provides him with complete immunity from civil lawsuits and that the statute of limitations bars the lawsuit. Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, filed the lawsuit in federal court in July against Cheney, Libby, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove [official profile] for their alleged roles in revealing her CIA status. Plame and Wilson also later sued [JURIST report] the former State Department official who admitted disclosing her name to the press.
In the suit, Plame asserts that the defendants violated her rights to privacy, free speech, and equal protection under the US Constitution, claiming that the defendants conspired to expose Plame, threatening her career and endangering her family. Plame contends that the defendants revealed her identity as an undercover CIA operative in retaliation for the statements made by her husband, former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, in which he denied that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase materials for a nuclear weapon in Niger, as the Bush administration had claimed. In his motion to dismiss, Cheney also argued that Plame's lawsuit requests impermissible judicial scrutiny into executive branch operations, as the wrongful act allegedly committed by Cheney was his communication of her CIA status to other members of the administration. MSNBC has more. AP has additional coverage.