Clarence Thomas: Very Cool and Legal for GOP Megadonor to Shower Me in Luxury
The Supreme Court justice has responded to a bombshell ProPublica report by defending his friendship with billionaire Harlan Crow
Clarence Thomas doesn’t seem to realize why a Supreme Court justice regularly accepting lavish gifts from a GOP megadonor, and then failing to report those gifts, is such a big deal.
“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years. As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them,” the conservative justice said in a statement responding to a damning ProPublica report detailing how billionaire Harlan Crow has been treating Thomas to high-end vacations for decades. Thomas added that he was told he didn’t need to report “this sort of personal hospitality” and that he will adhere to new Judicial Conference guidelines in the future.
ProPublica revealed on Thursday that Thomas has been treated to private jet trips, superyacht rides, and stays at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks for years. Thomas has not disclosed these gifts, which could be a violation of federal law requiring such disclosure. Crow is a prominent Republican donor who sits on the board of multiple conservative organizations, and Thomas is one of the Supreme Court’s most conservative ideologues, and no stranger to ethical issues.
Democrats were outraged at the report, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the committee “will act” in response. “Today’s report demonstrates, yet again, that Supreme Court Justices must be held to an enforceable code of conduct, just like every other federal judge,” he wrote in a statement. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) called for an investigation. “This cries out for the kind of independent investigation that the Supreme Court — and only the Supreme Court, across the entire government — refuses to perform,” he wrote on Twitter.
House Democrats were no less upset. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) said that Thomas must be impeached before telling The Lever later on Thursday that if no one else bring articles of impeachment against the rich-living justice, she’ll do it herself.
“I think this is an emergency. I think this is a crisis,” she said. “I think we’ve had a crisis for some time on the Supreme Court … If no one is going to introduce [articles of impeachment], I would certainly be open to doing so and drafting them myself. I think this has gone far, far beyond any sort of acceptable standard in any democracy, let alone in American democracy.”