Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in a formal group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington DC, US on Friday, October 7, 2022.
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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas received secret luxury trips from Republican megadonor Harlan Crow for more than two decades in apparent violation of finance law, a. Public report it was revealed on Thursday.
Thomas vacationed on a 162-foot superyacht, flew on a private real estate jet and spent time on a GOP donor’s private practice and other exclusive practices, ProPublica reported, citing documents and dozens of interviews.
Thomas, a 74-year-old conservative associate justice who has served on the nation’s highest court since 1991, did not report his travels in financial disclosures as required by law, the nonprofit news outlet reported.
The investigation provides more fuel for critics of Thomas, who say his refusal to recuse himself from cases involving questions related to his wife’s political work in conservative circles — including her involvement in subverting the 2020 election — prejudices her.
Ethics experts and ex-judges interviewed by Propublica were skeptical. Thomas “appears to have completely disregarded his ethical obligations to his superiors,” Virginia Canter, chief ethics officer at the police group CREW, told the outlet.
“When the lifestyle is subsidized by the rich and famous, it completely erodes public confidence,” Canter said.
Spokespeople for the Supreme Court and Corvo did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Harlan Crow, president and chief executive officer of Crow Holdings LLC, sits for a photo at the offices of Old Parkland Estates in Dallas, Texas, US on Friday, October 2, 2015.
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in a * it is said For the Publica Cornicula, he said: “The hospitality we have extended to Thomas over the years is no different from the hospitality we have extended to many other dear friends.”
Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, “never” for any gifts, nor for any contributions made to projects celebrating “the life and legacy” of Crow, the megadonor said. Cornish added that he and his wife “never sought a lawsuit or a minor court case, and Justice Thomas was never discussed, and Justice Thomas was never sought to influence Justice Thomas in any legal or political matter.”
Crow, a Texas real estate magnate, became friends with Thomas after he joined the Supreme Court. He gave more than $10 million in undisclosed public political donations, and undisclosed amounts to groups that don’t have to disclose their donors, ProPublica reported.
Thomas typically spends about a week each summer at Topridge, a privately owned lake resort in the Adirondacks, and flying records show that he used the Hornet plane several times, according to the news release.
Supreme court justices are bound by fewer ethical restrictions than lower levels of the judiciary. Some groups have called for the implementation of a code of ethics to the high court
But the Justice Department is still submitting financial disclosures, and experts say they are required to disclose all gifts valued at more than $415. While there are exceptions to this requirement, there is not even a single carriage.
“If Justice Thomas accepted free travel on private planes and passed out, he failed to report the gifts in violation of the disclosure law,” Kedric Payne, senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, told the outlet.