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Justice Thomas took more trips paid for by GOP donor than he disclosed, senator says

The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee says Justice Clarence Thomas took more trips paid for by a conservative donor than previously disclosed.
Alex Wong
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The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee says Justice Clarence Thomas took more trips paid for by a conservative donor than previously disclosed.

The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that the panel’s subpoena of a conservative donor revealed additional travel and gifts to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, which the justice had not disclosed.

The subpoena of Harlan Crow, the conservative mega donor, revealed that Thomas took a private jet to travel between St. Louis and Kalispell, Mont., and a return flight to Dallas in May 2017; in March 2019, he took a private jet from Washington, D.C., to Savannah, Ga., and back; and in June 2021, the justice traveled from Washington, D.C., to San Jose, Calif., and back.

A statement from Sen. Dick Durbin, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: “The documents also showed private jet travel for the recently-disclosed July 2019 trip to Indonesia; an eight-day yacht excursion for the recently-disclosed July 2019 trip to Indonesia; and private jet travel for the recently-disclosed July 2019 trip to Santa Rosa, California, all of which Thomas failed to disclose in his amendment to his 2019 financial disclosure report last week. Additionally, Crow’s documents show different dates for the July 2019 Indonesia trip, further calling into question the accuracy of the details Justice Thomas decides to disclose.”

The disclosure comes a week after Thomas acknowledged travel paid for by Crow as part of his annual financial disclosure.

The court has been at the center of controversy following the disclosures about Thomas and other justices. Under pressure from Congress and the public, the court last November adopted its first-everethics code — one that lacks an enforcement mechanism.

Public trust in the court has fallen amid revelations that Thomas received gifts and travel from Crow. Justice Samuel Alito has also been criticizedfor failing to disclose a fishing tripwith Paul Singer, a big Republican donor with cases before the Supreme Court. Alito has separately been criticized for flags flown outside his properties that were associated with pro-Trump activists.

Copyright 2024 NPR

NPR Washington Desk
[Copyright 2024 NPR]