Progressives on Thursday urged congressional Democrats to immediately implement investigations and impeachments bombshell reports via ProPublica revealed that right-wing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had taken luxury trips from a billionaire Republican megadonor for more than 20 years without formal disclosure — a likely violation of federal law.
The outlet reported Thursday that “Thomas received luxury trips almost every year for more than two decades” from Dallas-based real estate mogul Harlan Crow.
According to ProPublica, Thomas “has cruised around the world on a superyacht. He flies a Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to Bohemian Grove, an exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crowley Village in East Texas. But Thomas typically spends about a week each summer at a private cruise.” frequency in the Adirondacks.
“These trips did not appear anywhere in Thomas’s financial disclosures,” the outlet noted. “Failure to report the flight appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that required justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. It also should have disclosed their trips to the shelter. These experts said.”
Virginia Canter, a former government ethics lawyer who is now with the police watchdog group Citizens for Services and Ethics in Washington (CREW), told ProPublica that Justice “completely ignored other ethical obligations.”
“When the lifestyle is subsidized by the rich and famous, it absolutely erodes public trust,” Canter said. “Quite frankly, it makes my heart sink.”
The luxury travel revelation is the latest stumbling block for Thomas, who has gone before going up to the poll in the year to the alleged ethical violations, including the following He did not refuse the decision on the grounds of the 2012 presidential election in spite of his wife direct involvement in an attempt to overturn the results of that struggle.
“Democrats must force impeachment vote of Justice Thomas on the House floor,” Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch argued He reported the response to ProPublica on Thursday. “It’s not going to pass, obviously, but Republicans in the state supporting this level of corruption and the judiciary are making a bad campaign.”
It’s unclear how House Democrats will go about the impeachment vote given the GOP’s control of the chamber. Republicans have often defended Thomas resigned from the backlash due to his failure to withdraw from election-related cases.
Brian Fallon, executive director of the advocacy group Demand Justice, said in Thursday’s decision that the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats, “cannot let go of this singular display of corruption and unspeakable lawlessness.”
“Senate Democrats can’t force Thomas to resign or impeach him, which he clearly deserves, but they can have a hearing to further expose Thomas’ law-breaking and Republican justices’ deep ties to far-right donors,” Fallon said. “As long as we are stuck in the Supreme Court, in the pocket of far-right donors of corrupt ideals, the American people deserve to know the truth.”
ProPublica confirmed that “the amount and frequency of apparent gifts by Thomas Cornish have no known precedent in the modern history of the US Supreme Court.”
“In Justice Corniche’s approach to any businessman wants to invite himself,” the issue reported. “Thomas’ frequent vacations at Topridge brought him into contact with executives and political activists. In just one trip in July 2017, Thomas’ guest partners included Verizon and PricewaterhouseCoopers executives, a major Republican donor and one of the leaders of the American Enterprise Institute, a pro-business “He thinks it’s a conservative tank.”
The issue noted that a picture of Thomas at Topridge—a New York private lake in the upstate Corniche—Thomas was “in conversation with Leonard Leone, president of the Federalist Society, recently turned architect.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., chair of the judicial subcommittee and vocal advocate ethics at the highest court; he wrote on Twitter which ProPublica reported “cries out for the kind of independent research that the Supreme Court — and only the Supreme Court — refuses to provide throughout the entire government.”
“Not only were entertainment services closed, but the company’s political activities were closed – especially Leonard Lee, an employee who helped billionaires take court,” Whitehouse said. “Who were the companions of Thomas in these book-opening vacations, and what things were disclosed before the court? The question is at hand.”
“For all of this we need a robust investigation,” the senator added, “and it is the justice’s job to make that happen.”