Edmonds motion for recusal is based on Judge Waltons pursuit of secrecy in his required yearly financial disclosure by redacting his entire disclosure statement, his deference to secrecy in his rulings on Edmonds previous claims where he was the presiding judge, and the unusual operations of the case assignment system concerning Edmonds cases. For the recusal motion filed by Edmonds Click Here
The redaction of Judge Reggie Waltons entire Financial Disclosure Statement appears to be in violation of the Ethics in Government Act. The Ethics in Government Act requires that Federal Judges file a yearly financial disclosure statement with the U.S. Judicial Conference as a check on conflicts of interest. A disclosure may be redacted only to the extent necessary to protect the individual who filed the report and for as long as the danger to such individual exists. The Financial Disclosure Statement filed by Judge Reggie Walton in 2003 redacts all information except for the date of the filing and Waltons name. This is highly unusual. According to a recent GAO Report, less than one percent of judges on average request complete redaction of their financial disclosure each year. For Judge Reggie Waltons 2003 Financial Disclosure, Click Here. For the request letter sent to the U.S. Judicial Conference on March 6, 2006, asking for the release of Judge Waltons unredacted financial disclosure statement Click Here.
In July 2004, Judge Reggie Walton disposed of Edmonds First Amendment case on the basis of the governments assertion of State Secrets Privilege. On the same day as the decision, Judge Walton quashed a subpoena for Edmonds deposition by attorneys representing over 1,000 family members who lost love ones during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. In limiting the deposition in the case, Burnett et al. v. Al Baraka Investment & Development Corp., Judge Walton prevented the 9/11 attorneys from asking a majority of the proposed questions related to the attacks. These included even the most mundane questions, such as:
Where did you go to school?
What languages do you speak?
What did you focus your studies on in school?
In what capacity have you been employed by the United States Government?
The convoluted route the Edmonds case has taken to Judge Reggie Waltons courtroom appears suspicious and creates the perception that the system has been manipulated. Edmonds First Amendment case, filed in July 2002, was assigned to Judge James Robertson who recently resigned from the FISA Court in protest of warrantless NSA eavesdropping. In February 2003, Edmonds case was removed from Judge Robertson and reassigned to Judge Walton with no explanation provided. Edmonds filed a motion to request the case to be transferred from Judge Walton, and be assigned to Judge Ellen Huvelle who had been presiding over Edmonds related FOIA case since July 2002. The court granted Edmonds request and transferred her case to Judge Huvelle. However, two days later, Edmonds case was removed from Judge Huvelle and reassigned to Judge Walton with no further information or reason provided. On July 6, 2004, Judge Walton granted the governments motion to dismiss based on the assertion of the State Secrets Privilege.
In March 2005, Edmonds filed in D.C. Federal Court a separate claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and the case was randomly assigned to Judge James Robertson. However, five days later, Edmonds claim was removed from Judge Robertson and reassigned to Judge Reggie Walton. This set of facts reveals apparent violations of local rules governing the assignment of cases.
In January 2005, the Justice Department's Inspector General vindicated Edmonds claims when it declared that many of her charges "were supported by other witnesses and documents, and that her allegations were, in fact, the most significant factor in the FBI's decision to terminate her services."
Judge Reggie Walton was nominated to his position as a United States District Court of Columbia Judge in October 2001 by President George W. Bush. He served as President George H. W. Bushs Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President and as President Bushs Senior White House advisor for Crime.