Report: Clarence Thomas Secretly Accepted Luxury Gifts From Billionaire Republican Donor
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is in hot water after an article revealed that he accepted lavish trips from a powerful donor for more than 20 years.
ProPublica reports Thomas was treated to luxury vacations by billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow. For more than two decades, Thomas has traveled with the Dallas businessman on his private Bombardier Global 5000 jet and 162-foot yacht.
Some of the destinations include the Bohemian Grove, an exclusive California all-male retreat, Crow’s ranch in East Texas, and Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks and Indonesia.
As a public servant, Thomas, 74, makes $285,000 per year so these trips go way above his pay grade. So why is this such a problem? None of the trips appeared on Thomas’ financial disclosures. According to the expose, failing to report the flights violates a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress, and federal officials to disclose most gifts.
In a statement, Crow admitted to giving Thomas the gifts but stopped short at condemning him.
“We have been most fortunate to have a great life of many friends and financial success, and we have always placed a priority on spending time with our family and friends,” Crow said. “Justice Thomas and Ginni (Thomas’ wife) never asked for any of this hospitality.”
This new case just adds fuel to the fire for Thomas’ critics.
Ginni Thomas made headlines a few years ago after being involved in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election. According to CNBC, the seasoned justice has refused to recuse himself from cases involving his wife’s political actions, posing an extreme conflict of interest. Experts in the ethics field and former judges like Virginia Canter, say this shows Thomas’ “disregard of his higher ethical obligations.”
“When a justice’s lifestyle is being subsidized by the rich and famous, it absolutely corrodes public trust,” Canter said.
Thomas has sat on the Supreme Court since 1991 and has long faced scrutiny. In his confirmation hearing to become Supreme Court justice, Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, who testified that Thomas made sexual advances toward her as her supervisor at the Department of Education and the EEOC.