Valerie Plame Files to Run for Congress in New Mexico
The former CIA operative is running for a House seat in New Mexico.
Valerie Plame has officially filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress in New Mexico.
The former CIA operative, who became famous when her identity was leaked by an official in the George W. Bush administration, will run in the state’s 3rd congressional district, which will be vacated by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), as he is running for Senate in 2020.
In early April, Plame said she was entertaining the idea of running after previously suggesting she might seek the Senate.
“Right now, I am going around and meeting with people,” Plame said at the time. “I have a lot to learn and I would like another opportunity to serve my country.”
Plame had a 20-year career at the CIA, at times working undercover. The New York Times reported in 2003 that Plame was a “specialist in nonconventional weapons” who spent time overseas while having a “nonofficial cover,” or a false identity. Plame reportedly worked undercover as a “private energy expert.” Part of her career was spent looking into the use of aluminum tubes by Iraq—under the suspicion they would be used for their nuclear weapons program.
Plame is also married to former ambassador to Joseph Wilson, who went on a fact-finding mission to Niger to investigate allegations of uranium being sold to Iraq from the country. After his trip, Wilson wrote an op-ed in the Times during the early stages of the Iraq war stating that “intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat” and justify a war there.
Eight days later, columnist Robert Novak wrote that Plame had suggested her husband go on the fact-finding mission, and identified her as a CIA “operative”—citing “two senior administration officials” as sources.
Novak's column sparked an investigation of who had illegally leaked the identity of a CIA agent, culminating in the indictment of then-chief of staff to the vice president Scooter Libby—who was found to have told “several other reporters” about Plame's identity. Hours after he was indicted, Libby resigned. NPR reported Libby was subsequently sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for “obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI.”
Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, reportedly revealed to CBS in 2006 that he was Novak's first source for his 2003 column—saying that he felt “terrible” about the affair. Novak also confirmed in 2006 that then-White House political adviser Karl Rove was his second source on Plame's identity.
Before the House Oversight Committee, Plame told lawmakers in 2007 that her identity “carelessly and recklessly abused by senior government officials” who should have been working to protect her and her work. According to BBC News, she also denied suggesting her husband go on the fact-finding mission—claiming she “did not have the authority.”
Plame resigned from the CIA amidst the scandal in 2005. Since then, she wrote a memoir titled Fair Game and penned two spy novels in 2013 and 2014. She also started a GoFundMe campaign in 2017 in an effort to “buy a controlling interest of Twitter stock” so that the campaign could kick President Trump off of the platform.