Clarence Thomas Was Gifted Even More Private Jet Trips Than We Knew

Add three more private jet rides to the tally of gifts Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted from right-wing billionaires. A Senate investigation into Thomas’ relationship with conservative megadonor Harlan Crow revealed three additional, unreported trips by the justice on Crow’s personal jet.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee obtained information on the flights through a written response from Thomas’ attorney, who disclosed that the justice had taken flights on Crow’s plane to Glacier National Park in Montana, Washington D.C., and Georgia.

Thomas’ relationship with Crow, and the many lavish gifts showered upon him by the billionaire, have been heavily reported on by ProPublica over the last year. These include rides on private jets and luxury yachts, expensive vacations, tuition payments, and even the purchase of properties. Last week, Thomas disclosed two additional trips to Bali and California paid for by Crow in 2019, claiming that he had “inadvertently omitted” them from previous financial disclosures.

Senate Democrats noted that despite Thomas’s disclosure of the “eight-day yacht trip” to Bali,  “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 reporting prompted an investigation by Senate Democrats into potential ethics violations stemming from Thomas’ relationship with the GOP megadonor. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who heads the committee investigating Thomas, wrote in a statement that “as a result of our investigation and subpoena authorization, we are providing the American public greater clarity on the extent of ethical lapses by Supreme Court justices and the need for ethics reform.”

It’s “crystal clear that the highest court needs an enforceable code of conduct,” Durbin added. “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.”

The clamor for a binding code of conduct for Supreme Court justices has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks after two flags associated with the 2020 “Stop The Steal” movement were seen flying outside of homes belonging to Justice Samuel Alito.

In an undercover recording provided exclusively to Rolling Stone, Alito complained that “groups that are very well-funded by ideological groups,” were fomenting attacks against the court. “ProPublica gets a lot of money, and they have spent a fortune investigating Clarence Thomas, for example. You know, everything he’s ever done in his entire life,” Alito said. “And they’ve done some of that to me, too,” he added. “They look for any little thing they can find, and they try to make something out of it.”

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