Senate Uncovers Undisclosed Trips By Justice Clarence Thomas From GOP Megadonor

Clarence Thomas

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s ethics investigation has revealed that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did not disclose three private jet trips funded by GOP megadonor Harlan Crow.

This finding follows Thomas’ recent amendment of his financial disclosure to include previously unreported vacations provided by Crow.

Announced on Thursday, June 13, 2024, the committee’s findings were obtained through a subpoena for information from Crow. These documents uncovered that Thomas failed to disclose three domestic private jet trips from Crow between 2017 and 2021.

Additionally, the subpoenaed records revealed more private jet travel and an eight-day yacht excursion, which Thomas did not report in his amended 2019 financial disclosure.

In his latest financial disclosure amendment, Thomas added two trips to the “reimbursement” section, which included flights to Bali and Crow’s private club in California, where his food and lodging were covered by the donor.

Under legal requirements, Supreme Court justices must disclose gifts of transportation, though not food, lodging, or entertainment received as personal hospitality.

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-IL, criticized the lack of enforceable ethics standards for the Supreme Court, stating:

“Despite an approval rating near all-time lows and never-ending, self-inflicted scandals, Chief Justice Roberts still refuses to use his existing authority to implement an enforceable code of conduct. Until he acts, we will continue our push for the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act to become law.”

Justice Thomas has faced previous controversies, including a ProPublica report last year that exposed his acceptance of luxury flights and yacht trips from Crow without proper disclosure.

Furthermore, Thomas allegedly failed to report Crow-funded tuition payments for his grandnephew.

Other Supreme Court justices, such as Samuel Alito, have also encountered ethical scrutiny.

Alito was criticized for flying an upside-down American flag at his home following the 2020 election and for displaying an “Appeal To Heaven” flag, a symbol used by the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrectionists.

These revelations come amid a Senate Democrats’ initiative to introduce the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, aiming to establish a formal code of conduct for Supreme Court justices.

However, a recent effort to pass the bill by unanimous consent was blocked by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.