AOC demands that DOJ target Justice Clarence Thomas over relationship with Republican donor

Thomas issued a statement in April defending the trips he took with friends over many years, explaining that he has always followed Supreme Court guidance.

Published: August 12, 2023 2:42pm

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is calling for the DOJ to target Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his relationship with a large Republican donor and others who she says he benefited from financially.

In a letter sent Friday to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Ocasio-Cortez and four of her left-wing Democrat colleagues demanded that the DOJ launch an investigation into Thomas "for consistently failing to report significant gifts he received from Harlan Crow and other billionaires for nearly two decades — in defiance of his duty under federal law," according to Fox News.

"First, Justice Thomas has received numerous undisclosed valuable gifts from Harlan Crow over the course of at least fifteen years, despite certifying repeatedly that his financial disclosure forms are 'accurate, true, and complete,' in certifications 'subject to civil and criminal sanctions,'" the letter read.

The letter cited a ProPublica investigation from April that discussed Thomas’ friendship with Texas billionaire and real estate developer Harlan Crow. Thomas joined Crow on several luxury vacations on his private jet and yacht, as well as free stays on Crow’s vast vacation property, among other perks.

The article accused Thomas of failing to recuse himself from cases "before the court in which there was potential conflict of interest," and cited other ProPublica investigations about other gifts Thomas reportedly received.  

"No one is above the law. For two decades, Justice Thomas failed to report millions in gifts. Today, we asked DOJ to investigate Thomas for violating the Ethics of Government Act of 1978. We are joined by Ranking Members [Jerrold] Nadler & [Jamie] Raskin, and Judiciary Members [Ted] Lieu & Hank Johnson," Ocastio-Cortez wrote on social media.

Thomas issued a statement in April after the first ProPublica report was published, defending the trips he took with friends over many years, explaining that he has always followed Supreme Court guidance.

"Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years," Thomas said. "As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter-century we have known them." 

"Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable," he added.

"This is just grasping at straws by the left that is desperate to tear down Justice Thomas because he now has a working originalist majority on the court," said Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy and The Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

"This is politics. Plain and simple."

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