3 October 2003

More vicious than Tricky Dick

Regardless of whether or not a special prosecutor is selected, I believe that Ambassador Wilson and his wife -- like the DNC official once did -- should file a civil lawsuit, both to address the harm inflicted on them, and, equally important, to obtain the necessary tools (subpoena power and sworn testimony) to get to the bottom of this matter. This will not only enable them to make sure they don't merely become yesterday's news; it will give them some control over the situation. In the case of the DNC's civil suit, Judge Charles Richey, a good Republican, handled it in a manner that was remarkably helpful to the Nixon reelection effort. But any judge getting a lawsuit from Wilson and Plame today would be watched a lot more carefully.

While I have made no effort to examine all the potential causes of action that Wilson and Plame might file, several come to mind. For example, given the fact that this leak was reportedly an effort to harm them, a civil action for intentional infliction of emotional distress could be appropriate. (Because I am not aware of their residence -- the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia -- I will only state the law generally.)



The author, Nixon's White House counsel, is reasonably well-versed in Watergate history and the political impact a civil suit could have by giving subpoena powers to Wilson and Plame. This is the second time today I've found myself blogging something containing the W-word. And I don't mean Dubya.

Now if only Andrew Wilkie had access to the torts available in the US.

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