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The Wilson Suit Press Conference


Christopher Wolf, counsel for the Wilsons speaking first:

Summary of complaint:

Amb. Wilson exercised First Amendment rights to challenge the President about his justifications for going to war in Iraq.

Matter should and could have ended at the Administration admitting they were wrong about "the sixteen words."

Method chosen was to leak off the record, and not for attribution, the employment of Amb. Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame Wilson.

We know today that senior officials leaked to other journalists, beyond Novak.

These leaks violated the civil rights of the Wilsons.

The exposure of Valerie Wilson not only exposed her to potential danger, but may also have exposed friends, colleagues or associates who may have worked with her or for her at the CIA.

The Wilsons do not want their civil suit in any way to interfere

We argue that the intentional and unconstitutional conduct set forth in the complaint does not allow for any claim of immunity by the defendants in this case.

Valerie Plame Wilson speaks next:

Much rather be continuing my career in the CIA, than be a plaintiff in a law suit.

Those persons who acted in this manner should answer for their shameful conduct in court.

Joe Wilson next:

Served my nation for a number of years, including several Ambassadorships. Last American diplomat to have contact with Saddam Hussein before the launching of Desert Storm.

Took two discrete missions to Niger to look into yellowcake allegations. Moreover, the US Ambassador and a Four Star Marine General also looked into the allegations, and came to the same conclusions.

Privately urged Administration to correct the false allegation in the State of the Union for months. When the Administration refused, Wilson exercised his right to speak out about governmental problems.

Goes through the fact pattern on what happened from the 16 words to the efforts toward "discrediting, punishing and seeking revenge" against the Wilsons.

Official abuse of power broke faith with these officials failing to uphold their oaths to the Constitution and their responsibilities and the public trust.

Now Wolf is taking questions.

Have there been threats to the Wilsons? Can’t comment.

Going to subpoena journalists? Not going to discuss strategy.

Can you explain the Bevins thing? Not going to discuss something that will likely be litigated.

(Lots of questions that are already answerable had people looked at the public record. SIGH)

Explain privacy questions? Once she was dragged into the public square by the Administration, that is a bell that cannot be unrung.

Expect motion for a stay from Libby’s criminal representation? Have to see what the motion says, and whether there is a need for a stay from the criminal prosecution.

Documents from Fitzgerald’s case as fair game for discovery? Anything on public record is important, and will likely be examined. We’ll take everything else step by step.

Will President be "indicted" with Cheney and Rove? (CHS: Um, hello, CIVIL action…) We’ll have to see what happens as we go forward in the discovery process.

Press conference has ended.

Favorite line of the presser:  "Ambassador Wilson has a right to speak out without jeopardizing his wife."  (h/t to bonzarella for catching that one, too!)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com