Members of Congress are calling for investigations into longstanding corruption allegations surrounding U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is facing renewed scrutiny after a bombshell investigation into the found accepting a luxury vacation from a Republican megadonor for more than 20 years.
Judge Thomas has accepted trips to Indonesia and New Zealand aboard the superyacht Harlan Crow, flies regularly on his private jet and joins annual summer trips to the Texas developer’s Adirondacks resort – trips that would otherwise cost tens of thousands of dollars but appear nowhere on its financial disclosures, according to documents and interviews in an extensive ProPublica investigation.
Ethics law experts say the absence of such trips from these disclosure forms likely violates a law that requires judges to disclose most of the gifts they receive.
“It’s beyond party or partisanship. This degree of corruption is shocking – almost cartoonish. Thomas needs to be impeached,” said Democratic U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
She said the Supreme Court’s legacy under Chief Justice John Roberts will include “rank corruption, the erosion of democracy and the deprivation of human rights.”
“It calls for the kind of independent inquiry that the Supreme Court – and only the Supreme Court, across government – refuses to do,” said US Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
“Why did Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas keep these ultra luxurious gifts from a GOP donor a secret? Because Justice Thomas knew it was wrong to accept these secret gifts,” said Democratic U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, who called on Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to pass legislation that would impose a code of conduct on the nation’s high court.
“For the good of the country, he should resign,” Mr Lieu said. said.
A statement from Mr Crow did not deny that he had extended ‘hospitality’ to Judge Thomas and his wife Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas ‘over the years’ after becoming friends in 1996, but he said that their time together was “no different from the hospitality we extended to our many other dear friends.
In 2019, after voting in cases of extreme partisan gerrymandering, racial discrimination on juries and separation of church and state, Judge Thomas boarded Mr Crow’s private jet bound for Indonesia, a trip that could have topped $500,000, according to ProPublica.
On a trip to Mr. Crow’s lakeside compound in the Adirondacks in 2017, Justice was joined by executives from Verizon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, top GOP donors and one of the group’s executives. right-wing think tank American Enterprise Institute, according to records reviewed by ProPublica.
A painting hung in the property shows Judge Thomas in a group with Leonard Leo, the right-wing legal activist and former vice president of the Federalist Society considered the architect of a movement that radically reshaped the federal justice system and the Supreme Court.
Mr. Crow has donated more than $10 million to Republican causes and groups that have advanced right-wing legal theories, including the Federalist Society, according to publicly available political contributions.
The corruption allegations are not the first involving Judge Thomas.
The American Enterprise Institute presented Judge Thomas with a bust of Abraham Lincoln worth $15,000 in 2001. The think tank has filed briefs in at least three court cases this term, none of which are is challenged. he either voted to support an outcome favored by the American Enterprise Institute or took a stance more to the right of the group’s position.
In 2011, The New York Times reported on the ‘unusual’ relationship between the two men, including Mr Crow’s financial support for a library project dedicated to justice, his presentation of a Bible that once belonged to Frederick Douglass and a contribution of 500,000 $ to Ginni Thomas to start a Tea Party-related group.
Politico also reported on Mr. Crow’s support for Ms. Thomas’ group, which also paid him a salary of $120,000.
Last year, Judge Thomas was the only judge to oppose an order that would grant the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack access to hundreds of House documents. Blanche dating from Donald Trump’s tenure – including messages sent by Ms Thomas to Mr Trump’s chief of staff. Mark Meadows staff.
Those posts – which included election-related conspiracy theories – urged Mr. Meadows to continue his efforts to overturn the election results, undermining and throwing out the votes of millions of Americans to seat Mr. Trump for a second term.
A recent survey of The Washington Postrevealed that a group of right-wing activists led by Ms Thomas had raised nearly $600,000 in anonymous donations to support her political advocacy and “wage a cultural battle against the left”.
Previously unreported donations to Crowdsourcers for Culture and Liberty were channeled through a right-wing think tank that agreed to serve as the 2019 funding channel until early last year, according to The post officeinvestigation. The arrangement, known as “fiscal sponsorship,” effectively kept the group’s activities and expenses secret — records that would otherwise have to be released publicly if it operated as a separate nonprofit.
This is a developing story