After a bombshell investigation revealed that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted luxury trips from Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow for over 20 years without disclosing them, the conservative justice faces even more criticism after another ProPublica report reveals that Crow also paid for Thomas’ grandnephew, Mark Martin, to attend two private schools in the 2000s, one of which cost $6,000 per month.
A new Washington Post report also alleges that Thomas’ wife, Ginni, received payments from conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo.
Thomas’ ties to the billionaire GOP donor has triggered a wave of criticism, with many calling for his resignation, impeachment and sweeping reforms to the nation’s highest court. Like all other federal judges, Supreme Court justices are required to file an annual financial disclosure report.
As USA Today reported, lawmakers led by Rep. Hank Johnson and Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García “as well as several advocacy groups urged Thomas to step down from the high court…”
“It’s time for Clarence Thomas to resign because of his ethics violations and conflicts of interest,” García told USA TODAY in a statement last month. “It’s time for a binding ethics code for our Supreme Court, and it’s time for the wealthy and well-connected to be held to the same standards as everyone else.”
On Monday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Crow to provide a full accounting of gifts he’s given to Justice Thomas and his family, escalating their investigation into Thomas’ relationship with Crow—though Senate Republicans are blocking them from passing any legislation in response.
The 11 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Crow, requesting that he provide an itemized list of any gifts valued at more than $415 that he or his companies have given Thomas or any of his family members (or any other justices), as well as all real estate transactions, travel lodging, and membership in private members clubs.
According to the Washington Post, Democrats also wrote letters to three companies that supported Thomas’ travel on Crow’s private plane, his superyacht and at his private resort, requesting lists of passengers whose travel overlapped with Thomas or any other Supreme Court justice.
The letter requests a response by May 22nd. Senators have now written to Crow twice, the first one coming from Senate Finance Committee chair Sen. Ron Wyden who sent one to Crow in April asking for a list of transactions to Thomas.