Lawmakers Urge Chief Justice Roberts to Probe Clarence Thomas’s Secret Trips

Calls mount for Thomas to be investigated after accepting hundreds of thousands in undisclosed presents from billionaire Harlan Crow.

As congressional Democrats scoffed at U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas’ try to defend taking luxurious holidays funded by a billionaire Republican mega-donor, a gaggle of 16 Democratic lawmakers on Friday urged Chief Justice John Roberts to analyze “allegations of unethical and doubtlessly illegal conduct” by a member of the nation’s highest courtroom.

In a letter led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Rep. Hank Johnson Jr. (D-Georgia), the Democrats — who embrace eight members of the Senate and eight Home lawmakers — cited Thursday’s bombshell report by ProPublica detailing how “Thomas has repeatedly accepted and did not disclose presents and journey from billionaire Harlan Crow.”

“To this point, the courtroom has barely acknowledged, a lot much less investigated, these allegations,” the lawmakers wrote. “Amidst all of this — maybe due partially to the courtroom’s inaction — the American folks’s belief within the Supreme Courtroom has plummeted to an all-time low.”

“We imagine that it’s your obligation as chief justice ‘to safeguard public religion within the judiciary,’ and that fulfilling that obligation requires swift, thorough, impartial, and clear investigation into these allegations,” the legislators added.

The letter notes that “presents that Mr. Crow reportedly supplied to Justice Thomas embrace worldwide journey on non-public jets and yachts, and stays at non-public resorts, together with annual retreats to a resort owned by Mr. Crow’s firm. The worth of a few of these presents exceeds $500,000, in response to ProPublica’s reporting.”

The lawmakers continued:

Simply final 12 months, a right-wing activist admitted to coordinating a beforehand undisclosed 20-year, $30 million judicial lobbying marketing campaign on the Supreme Courtroom. As a part of this operation, this activist reportedly “coached” rich donors “to wine, dine, and entertain conservative Supreme Courtroom justices” in an try to “embolden the justices” to write down “unapologetically conservative” opinions. These donors apparently “financed quite a few costly dinners with [Justices] Thomas, [Samuel] Alito, [Antonin] Scalia, and their wives at Washington, D.C. hotspots” and hosted at the least one justice at a non-public retreat. In line with the activist who led this marketing campaign, the donors concerned on this lobbying effort had been even in a position to safe advance discover from Justice Alito of the Supreme Courtroom’s 2014 resolution in a pending case.

“Over the course of the previous 12 months, Justice Thomas has participated in quite a few circumstances implicating his spouse’s actions associated to the 2020 election and the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol,” the letter continues, referencing Virginia Thomas’ attempt to push Arizona state lawmakers to assist then-President Donald Trump overturn the outcomes of the final presidential contest.

“Justice Thomas’ failure to recuse in these circumstances raises questions on whether or not he violated each federal legislation and canons of judicial ethics relating to conflicts of curiosity and recusal,” the lawmakers argued. “It has been mentioned that he knew nothing of his partner’s actions; that’s an assertion of truth that may and ought to be investigated, and can be within the odd course for different judges and officers.”

“It’s effectively previous time for the Supreme Courtroom to align with the remainder of authorities in a correct code of ethics enforced by impartial investigation and reporting,” they added.

Along with the letter, there have been calls by progressive teams and congressional Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) to question Thomas.

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