Plame Considering Lawsuit Against Former State Dept. Official Armitage

Former CIA officer Valerie Plame is considering suing the recent No. 2 State Department official in a case accusing members of the Bush administration of conspiring to leak her identity to the media, Plame's attorney said Tuesday.

Official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a one-hour meeting marked "private appointment" with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003.

That was the same day Woodward met with a confidential source who spoke to him about Plame, according to a person familiar with information gathered by prosecutors. The person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the material remains sealed.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame's identity as a one-time CIA covert official. Nobody has been charged with the leak but former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been accused of lying to investigators and to a grand jury.

Plame has sued Vice President Dick Cheney, White House aide Karl Rove and Libby, saying they leaked her name to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the administration's march to war with Iraq.

The calendar released to the AP is the first confirmation that Woodward and Armitage met during the key time in the CIA leak case.

Plame attorney Melanie Sloan said she was considering adding Armitage's name to the suit. Based on the calendar entry, Sloan said, "it sure sounds like" he was Woodward's source.

The real question, Sloan said, is whether Armitage revealed Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak, who was the first to get the information into print. If so, she said that doesn't get Libby or others off the hook in the civil case, but it widens the conspiracy.

"Then I think maybe Armitage was in on it," Sloan said. "The question is just what was Armitage's role?"

Neither Woodward nor Armitage would discuss the meeting.

Plame's attorneys plan to seek depositions from the defendants and others, including Armitage, about the leak.