We’ve been covering the twists and turns of Congressman Lamar Smith’s (R-Tex.) tussle with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Rep. Smith, who chairs the House Science Committee, has accused NOAA scientists of manipulating climate data for political ends. While the NOAA has provided Smith with all the (publicly available) data and methodology behind the peer-reviewed study in question, Smith has also subpoenaed the scientists’ e-mails.
Now, a new combatant has joined the fray: conservative government watchdog and FOIA factory Judicial Watch.
According to a press release from the group, Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on October 30 for many of the same records Rep. Smith is seeking. The group requested “all documents and records of communications between NOAA officials, employees, and contractors” relating to decisions about methods for building NOAA’s global surface temperature dataset. In addition, Judicial Watch included a request for communications about Rep. Smith’s subpoena.