A few hours ago the Justice Department ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to start producing emails and other records about U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. of Waco, including any records about whether Judge Smith threatened another judge. That’s only the latest bad news for Judge Smith, who was reprimanded and partially suspended by the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council after I filed a judicial misconduct complaint against him in 2014.
Back in March, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request after receiving a tip that Judge Smith sent a threatening email to another judge, but the Marshals Service reflexively denied the request within 48 hours. As I reported on March 30, 2016, I made requests for information in six categories, but here’s the one that got tongues wagging:
All records or emails concerning whether Judge Smith made derogatory or threatening comments to or about U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman or any other judge. This request includes, but is not limited to, any emails or records suggesting that Judge Pitman was not welcome in Waco. This request further includes, but is not limited to, added security costs related to Judge Pitman’s travel to Waco.
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