Valerie Plame May Run for Congress in 2020

The Story:

Valerie Plame, the former CIA spy who first came to broad public attention in 2003 when the George W. Bush administration was trying to make the case that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction, is back in the public eye: she says that she may run for a seat in the House of Representatives from New Mexico’s 3d district next year.

The Background:

Plame is the wife of Joseph Wilson, a former Ambassador. In the period 2002-03 Wilson publicly argued, contrary to White House assertions, that Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was not attempting to buy “yellowcake” uranium from Niger.

Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, leaked to the press the fact that Plame was CIA. He ‘blew her cover’ as the saying goes, ending her espionage career: apparently in retaliation for the public position her husband had taken.

Libby was later convicted of crimes related to his efforts to cover up this leak. His sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush and, just last year, he was granted a full pardon by President Trump.

The Thing to Know: 

The incumbent of the 3d district seat in New Mexico, Ben Ray Lujan, is the fourth-ranking House Democrat. He will not be running for re-election because he is seeking one of the state’s US Senate seats. The contest for the 3d district, then, may prove hotly competitive. Plame says that if she runs her goal will be “to continue Ben Ray’s legacy.”

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