Supreme Court Justice Thomas under scrutiny for friendship with billionaire GOP megadonor
While Thomas earns a salary of $285,000 as a public servant, he has gone on luxury vacations nearly every year with the billionaire for more than two decades.
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is under scrutiny for his friendship with Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow, a billionaire real estate magnate who reportedly took the judge and his wife on multiple luxury trips for more than two decades.
One trip detailed by ProPublica on Thursday would have cost Thomas over $500,000. On that occasion, the justice and his wife, Ginny Thomas, traveled with Crow on his private jet to Indonesia, then used his yacht to go island hopping for nine days as they were serviced by a private chef and attendants.
Federal law requires government officials to disclose gifts, but Thomas has not reported the trips on his financial disclosures.
While Thomas earns a salary of $285,000 as a public servant, he has gone on luxury vacations nearly every year with Crow for more than two decades.
The justice has not responded to ProPublica's request for comment. But Crow said he his wife are "very dear friends" with the Thomases and the trips are "gatherings of friends." He also said he has "never sought to influence Justice Thomas on any legal or political issue" and that the justice never asked to go on any trips with him.
The report has led lawmakers such as New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to call for Thomas to be impeached.
"This is beyond party or partisanship," she tweeted. "This degree of corruption is shocking – almost cartoonish. Thomas must be impeached. Barring some dramatic change, this is what the Roberts court will be known for: rank corruption, erosion of democracy, and the stripping of human rights.