A group of House Democrats, led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is calling on the Justice Department to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for allegedly failing to report significant gifts he received from billionaire Harlan Crow and others over a period of nearly two decades, in violation of federal law. The Democrats sent a letter on August 11 to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, citing reports by ProPublica that Justice Thomas did not disclose luxurious trips and gifts from Crow. They expressed concern that Thomas repeatedly certified the accuracy and completeness of his financial disclosure forms while failing to disclose these gifts, despite being subject to civil and criminal sanctions. According to the letter, Supreme Court justices are required to file annual reports disclosing their financial income, gifts, property interests, liabilities, and transactions. Although some expenses may be exempt from this requirement, the letter argues that the exemption does not apply to the receipt of complimentary transportation, such as the private jet, helicopter, and yacht travel received by Justice Thomas.
The letter highlights the potential consequences of violating the Ethics in Government Act, which allows the attorney general to take legal action against individuals who knowingly and willfully falsify or fail to file required information. The Democrats point out that Justice Thomas has received numerous gifts from Crow and other wealthy businessmen, including designated vacations, private jet and helicopter flights, VIP passes to sporting events, stays at luxury resorts, and an invitation to an exclusive golf club. These gifts, estimated to be worth millions of dollars since his appointment to the Supreme Court, were allegedly never disclosed by Thomas. The Democrats argue that his failure to disclose these gifts shows a blatant disregard for judicial ethics and potential legal violations. They emphasize the importance of holding him accountable to prevent a dangerous precedent.
The letter is signed by Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Jerry Nadler, Jamie Raskin, Hank Johnson, and Ted Lieu. Justice Thomas has faced increased scrutiny in recent months following the reports by ProPublica. Representative Bill Pascrell of New Jersey has called for Thomas’s resignation, calling him corrupt. Similarly, Representative Gerry Connolly has also called for his resignation, stating that Thomas has brought dishonor and ethical malpractice to the Supreme Court, and advocating for ethics reform within the court.
In conclusion, House Democrats, led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are urging the Justice Department to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for allegedly failing to report significant gifts he received over the years. They argue that his failure to disclose these gifts demonstrates a disregard for judicial ethics and potential legal violations. The Democrats stress the importance of holding him accountable to prevent setting a dangerous precedent. The letter has been signed by several representatives, and Thomas has faced calls for his resignation from other lawmakers as well. The situation has brought attention to the need for ethics reform within the Supreme Court.