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Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney

Bloomberg News reports that Joseph Wilson may sue Bush, Cheney and others in the Administration:

In an interview yesterday, Wilson said that once the criminal questions are settled, he and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career.

If they do so, the current state of the law makes it likely that the suit will be allowed to proceed -- and Bush and Cheney will face questioning under oath -- while they are in office. The reason for that is a unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against then-President Bill Clinton could go forward immediately, a decision that was hailed by conservatives at the time.

What's good for the goose....

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  • Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Given the partisan nature of the current court - given the current court's willingness to contradict its own rulings as in Bush v Gore - isn't it likely that the current court would find a reason to make an exception to the 1997 ruling?

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    of course the Republican SCOTUS justices wouldn't have voted the way they did, in 1997, if a Republican had been president under exactly the same circumstances.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    et al - Remember. Be careful what you ask for, you may get it. I would love to see Wilson on the stand.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Wilson? I'd do pay per view to watch George W on the stand, without Cheney or a lawyer sitting next to him.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Posted by Johnnei at October 17, 2005 07:32 AM Wilson? I'd do pay per view to watch George W on the stand, without Cheney or a lawyer sitting next to him.
    Absolutely! I get shivers just imagining GW and company having to go on record and be held accountable under the law for their lies. Talking about things coming back to haunt you! The ghost of Paul Jones, no less! Delicious . . .

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    It would be highly amusing to see the same pro-Clinton Impeachment Senators and Congressmen try to spin why George shouldn't be sued while in office. Incurious George has made a career of claiming Executive Privilege... So, can't wait to see why a sitting President could be impeached (and even sued civilly) over an issue sidebar to his role as President, and why now this one will claim he shouldn't, over an issue central to his role as Preznit... If the nation's fortunes didn't ride on getting this clown out of office, it would be popcorn and butter time...

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#7)
    by mpower1952 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    IIRC didn't the SC rule that the Paula Jones suit could go forward because it would not take up too much time of the president? Now their ruling will be, "Oops, we made a mistake." It's really too much of a distraction for the pres. to be sued while in office. About our ruling on Jones v Clinton, a la Emily Latella, "Never Mind."

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#8)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    We've been over this ground already when Cheney's "energy taskforce" were shielded from public scrutiny. [remainder deleted - please do not make threats, even veiled or joking ones on this site.]

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Wait a minute -- Didn't the Clinton v. Jones decision rest partly on the fact that the alleged incident happened prior to the presidency? And involved something that was clearly personal and not within Clinton's official duties? Much as I love to see Bush and Cheney wallopped, I think a civil case will not be allowed to go forward against Bush as it arose while he was in office, and arguably concerning matters that were in some way within his official duties. As for Cheney, I don't think he was the same immunity as Bush -- anyone know the answer to that?

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Uh, wouldn't a suit regarding actual presidential actions be much more relevant and pressing than one about actions committed years before the actual presidency? Or does this make sense: "Yup, has nothing to do with his duties, he can be sued..." over "Nope, this suit arises from alleged wrong-doing while in office, can't be sued..."???

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Laughing Jackal - I think rebmarks has it right. I don't think you can sue a President for his political actions, otherwise you would just have one long list of lawsuits. We have something called "impeachment" for that.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    PPJ calls the leaking of classified information "political" action...'nuff said...

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Darkly - Here's the link. I agree. As to whether or not a civil tort for alleged damages as the result fo political actions by the Pres and VP can be brought, I haven't the slightest idea. I suspect not. And LJ, along with Darkly, please note that I didn't say a word about "legal," just that it was political. Since Plame was no longer a covert agent, it was also not illegal. Cheers!

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    I'd also love to see Wilson on the stand. He's intelligent, articulate and stood toe-to-toe and face-to-face against Saddam,qualities and experiences lacking in the White House.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Oh yeah, Wilson on the stand is "lights-out" for Bushco, only because the truth is spoken in court and not talking points and smears... What are they going to say under oath? Any of the following? 1. She wasn't undercover? 2. She "sent" Wilson to Africa? 3. She "pushed" for him to go? 4. "It wasn't me..."? 5. She was a partisan out to get Bushco? 6. Wilson and Saddam engaged in coitus behind the U.N.'s richly embroidered curtains? Oh yeah, Wilson on the stand is game over for Bushco...

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    PPJ-you keep repeating the RNC talking point that Plame was not covert. That is a load of horse puckey.
    Here are some of the facts that will come out when Fitzgerald ends his investigation: 1. Valerie Plame was still a non-official cover officer in July 2003 when her identity was revealed by colostomy bag Bob Novak. 2. Valerie Plame had traveled overseas on secret missions using that cover as required under the statute in question. 3. Valerie Plame's exposure also almost compromised the identity of other non-official cover officers. 4. Valerie Plame did not have the authority to send her husband on the Niger mission and in fact did not make the decision. Other mental midgets like Cohen, such as Victoria Toensing, continue to insist that no crime could have been committed because Valerie Plame, "worked at a desk job". Newsflash for these so-called Washington insiders who have proven they know nothing about the intelligence community--at least 40% of the people working at CIA Headquarters are working undercover. Just because they may physically go to the CIA building in McLean, Virginia everyday does not mean that their relationship with the CIA is acknowledged. During my four years of sitting at a desk at CIA I was undercover. My position with the CIA was not even known by my own parents. Only my wife was privy to that secret. Many of the undercover folks still working at CIA are at headquarters on a temporary basis. Some travel overseas on temporary assignments that last less than a month. Others await a semi-permanent posting for a two or three year stint overseas.
    from one who knows Larry C. Johnson

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Doug says it's a no go, as PJ's alleged harassment happened before Clinton was in office, this case would be different.
    Doug asserts that under current law, a civil suit brought against a sitting president or vice president because of their official conduct while in office (yeah, I know, outing CIA agents isn't in their job descriptions, but it still counts as "official" conduct) would almost certainly be dismissed.
    billmon

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Only orificial duties, not official dutues, can be sued for?

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:05 PM EST
    Darkly - Read the link and cry. I love it.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:05 PM EST
    Heard today on the house sound system in Starbucks, "...sometimes even the president of the United States must stand naked"

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:05 PM EST
    The link is no good. Where is the story? If this is a real story, I will believe a lawsuit when I see it.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:06 PM EST
    Darkly - Actually I was thinking of Wilson on the stand. And some CIA people answering questions about how, and why, he was every sent to Niger. And Wilson knowing that they were there.. in public.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:06 PM EST
    Darkly - Actually I was thinking of Wilson on the stand. And some CIA people answering questions about how, and why, he was every sent to Niger.

    And Wilson knowing that they were there.. in public.

    And to rephrase what I said above, Wilson's lawyer would be a fool to bring a lawsuit on his behalf if in fact the real story behind Wilson's trip to Niger coming out would prove to be embarrasing to his client. If Wilson was a pathological liar or for another reason didn't tell his lawyer the truth about all he knows on the subject, well, yeah, getting him and others deposed might result in things not going well for him. So, absent any compelling reason to believe either 1. Wilson's attorney is a fool or, 2. Wilson has(or feels he has) a good reason to bring a lawsuit despite the fact deposing him would be damaging to his case, a hidden agenda that is invisible to all others at present I don't see how things would turn out to Wilson's disadvantage. Can you show us any evidence for either choice being true? Even a link from newswacx.com would be better than nothing. So far you have shown exactly zero evidence on this thread for either scenario. Outside of bad Lifetime channel movies, it would be very unusual for anyone to bring a lawsuit that opens them to further probing. The last time it happened with someone famous was the Sinatra biography by Kitty Kelly, which, as people will recall, the publication of which Sinatra and his legal minions tried to stop in court. I distinctly remember Ms. Kelley's telling an interviewer that Sinatra had opened himself to being deposed and having to truthfully answer questions, which she implied she could use to her advantage in asking certain questions about his life which she found to be unresolved from her research. Needless to say, Sinatra was never deposed, and the book went on the best-seller list, so there was an American happy ending. Now, Of course, if it were the other way around, and Wilson was the defendant, then your hopes would be plausable. But this thread is about the possibility of Wilson being a plaintiff, just to remind you...... TTFN, Whizzy.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:07 PM EST
    Darkly - I have absolutely no idea as to the intelligence of Wilson's lawyer, or if he evan has one. And I have even less knowledge of the Sinatra whatever you speak, mostly because the activities of "stars" have never been of interest to me. So I will concede the position of "Darkly, Starwatcher" to you. Enjoy. But strange things happen in court rooms. That is why they have trials. So blogspec aside, we will just have to wait.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:07 PM EST
    I don't think you can sue a President for his political actions, otherwise you would just have one long list of lawsuits. We have something called "impeachment" for that.
    And this -ahem- "thinking" illustrates perfectly the difference between a Republican a Statesman. Republicans do, have, and will use again the true "nuclear option" of impeachment as a means of non-lethal coup d'etat when they fail at the ballot-box, regardless of the consequences which could result from the monumental distraction imposed upon the country and its leaders. Statesmen, contrariwise, follow the law, put the good of the country above their naked partisan ambition, and seek to minimize hypocrisy rather than revel and wallow in it.

    Re: Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:07 PM EST
    I don't think you can sue a President for his political actions, otherwise you would just have one long list of lawsuits. We have something called "impeachment" for that.
    No, PPJ... We have elections for that. Impeachment is for "high crime" and "high misdemeanor," which are distinct from the garden-variety "low crime" described in the Criminal Code (such as perjury, obstruction of justice, etc). But no one would know that, given the reckless and lawless actions of the Republican House.