The eavesdropping lawsuit was brought by a former agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Richard Horn, who says his home in Rangoon, Burma, was illegally wiretapped by the CIA in 1993. He says Arthur Brown, the former CIA station chief in Burma, and Franklin Huddle Jr., the chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Burma, were trying to get him relocated because they disagreed with his work with Burmese officials on the country's drug trade.
Horn sued Brown and Huddle in 1994, seeking monetary damages for violations of his civil rights because of the alleged wiretapping.
Tenet filed an affidavit in 2000 asking that the case against Brown be dismissed because he was a covert agent whose identity was a state secret that must not be revealed in open court. Lamberth granted the CIA's request and threw out the case against Brown in 2004.
But Lamberth found out last year that Brown's cover had been lifted in 2002, even though the CIA continued to file legal documents saying his status was covert. The judge found that the CIA intentionally misled the court and reinstated the case against Brown.
The former acting CIA general counsel, John Rizzo, said in a court filing that the CIA's office of general counsel did not know Brown's cover status changed until 2005, three years after the fact. Rizzo said that one CIA attorney, Yeates, knew about the change but did not tell the court or his supervisors.
Brown disputes Rizzo's account. In a statement to the court, Brown says that he met personally with two other CIA attorneys, Robert J. Eatinger and John Radsan, in 2002, within a few months of the CIA rolling back his covert status and notified them of the agency's action.
While Lamberth referred Yeates for disciplinary action for intentionally misleading the court, he delayed action until he determines if others, including Rizzo, Eatinger, Radsan, Tenet and Brown himself, should face contempt charges or sanctions for failing to notify the court of Brown's change in status. He has given the five others a month to explain why they shouldn't be held responsible.