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Analysis | A Brief Timeline of Clarence Thomas’s Ethics Questions


This post has been updated.

Yet more reporting on Thursday highlighted the growing ethics issues surrounding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: ProPublica reported another previously undisclosed benefit Thomas received from billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow, and The Washington Post reported that Thomas A key associate of T.H. sought to conceal the payment to Thomas’s wife.

ProPublica reported that Crowe paid $6,200 a month in private boarding school Tuition for Thomas’ grandfather, whom Thomas had custody of since the child was 6 years old and raised him as a son. While the total amount is unclear, it is calculated that it may exceed $150,000.

Mark Paoletta, a friend of Thomas, said in a statement on Thursday that Thomas did not have to disclose the tuition because Thomas’ grandfather did not meet the relevant ethics law’s definition of a “dependent child”. ProPublica cited experts who said the payments should have been disclosed because they were essentially gifts to Thomas.

Regardless, this disclosure adds to a growing tab of Thomas-related spending by Crowe that stretches into the millions. Crowe has reportedly spent money on several luxury trips for Thomas, on Thomas’s wife’s political group, on Thomas’s mother’s home, on his grandfather’s boarding school, and on library and museum projects where Thomas grew up. . In each case, these things were obscured before anyone discovered them.

What the new reporting adds is yet another example of what Thomas once disclosed but then chose not to do – even as questions about his disclosure followed him for years. Did.

then Thursday night post reported In 2012 that prominent conservative justice activist and Thomas family ally Leonard Leo directed that $25,000 be paid to Thomas’s wife, conservative activist Virginia “Ginny” Thomas, but the paperwork “should make no mention of Ginny”. ” The money was advised to Leo, a nonprofit that filed a brief to the Supreme Court that year, raising questions about whether a potential conflict of interest had been intentionally concealed.

It’s a lot to sort through, and the timeline is important. So below is what we know so far not only about these matters, but also about other ethical questions that came after Thomas.

1991Thomas is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice after a controversial hearing involving sexual assault allegations from Anita Hill.

1996: Crow met thomas for the first time in Washington and invited him on a private flight back to Dallas, according to a recent interview by Crowe. (Thomas was scheduled to speak at an event in the area.) Crowe said the two men bonded on the plane.

1997: Thomas flies on Crowe’s private jet to Bohemian Grove in California, an exclusive all-male retreat. Thomas reveals the journey.

2001Thomas accepts a gift from Crowe of Frederick Douglass’s Bible, valued at $19,000. He also receives a $15,000 statue of Abraham Lincoln from the American Enterprise Institute, where Crowe serves as a trustee. Thomas again reveals both.

That same year, for a project built in Thomas’ honor, the Savannah, Ga. Crowe donates $175,000 to a library in Crowe initially wants to rename the library after Thomas, but agrees to naming a wing after him. is a gift initially anonymousBut it was later made public amid an uproar from black leaders who criticized Thomas.

Speaking about his effort to regain custody of his grandson, Thomas got emotional. ,not worth working for what they pay” he says. “Work is not worth doing for misery. But it is worth doing for principle.

2002: Thomas Reveals $5,000 that two friends, Earl and Louise Dixon, paid for their grandfather’s education.

2004: Los Angeles Times reports on expensive gifts and private visits from Crowe, citing Thomas’s revelations. In the years that followed, Thomas would continue to acknowledge Crowe’s generosity, but he would stop revealing itLeaving a gift in 2015.

2008: Thomas began sending his grandson to Hidden Lake Academy, a private boarding school in Georgia. Records as of 2009 show that Crowe paid his $6,200 monthly tuition. a former administrator would later tell ProPublica That Crowe paid for tuition for the grandson to be in school for a full year, and that Crowe said that he paid for tuition at a different boarding school before and after Hidden Lake. ProPublica reported that if true, it could be worth more than $150,000 over four years. Despite revealing to friends prior learning gifts, Thomas does not reveal these.

Crowe eventually returned to Thomas’ hometown of Pin Point, Ga. buys a seafood cannery in spend millions on a project To restore it and add a heritage museum. The New York Times later reported that it was a “pet project” of Thomas’, and that Thomas connected Crowe to the owner of the cannery. The purchase holds up until a 2011 Times piece in which the former owner said he was asked not to identify Crowe as the buyer.

2009Crowe reportedly gave $500,000 to a conservative political nonprofit started by Ginny Thomas called Liberty Central. The gift is initially anonymous, but Politico ties it to Crowe in 2011, Ginny Thomas will receive a salary of $120,000 from the group in 2010.

January 2010: A 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court, including Thomas, struck down longstanding campaign finance restrictions in Landmark citizens united Case. The decision allows unlimited spending by outside groups. Ginny Thomas says soon Liberty Central will be accepting corporate contributions.

October 2010: shortly after A New York Times story Referring to Liberty Central amid a potential conflict of interest with her husband, Ginny Thomas sees off the group citing “distracting”.

January 2011Watchdog group Common Cause argues that Justice Thomas should have gone my self citizens unitedPartly because of the possible advantage of his wife.

Thomas amends financial disclosure reports for the past 13 years after the same watchdog notes he failed to disclose his wife’s employers. Thomas says that the information was “Inadvertently omitted due to misunderstanding of filing instructions,

June 2011: the new York Times re-statement of expenses and gifts relating to Thomas of Crowe’s grandee, focusing on the museum. It notes that Thomas has not disclosed any profits from Crowe since 2004, but that travel records for Crowe’s planes and yachts indicate that Thomas “may have used them in recent years.”

October 2011: Thomas attends the dedication of the museum, while calling Crowe a “good man”. Accepting Crowe’s motives have been questioned,

January 2012: Leo, co-founder of Liberty Central with Ginny Thomas, instructed Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill a nonprofit group she advises and gave “$25K” to Ginny Thomas. They say that the paperwork should be included”no mention of guineas of course, Later that year, the nonprofit, Judicial Education Project, would file a brief with the Supreme Court in a landmark case, Shelby V. holder, Justice Thomas will favor the Judicial Education Project’s position in a 5-4 decision. (Part of Thomas’ defense of Crowe’s leniency case has been that Crowe had no direct business before the court.)

2014: Thomas Three pieces of property he sells co-owners to Crowe, including his mother’s house. Despite being expressly made clear by law that such real estate sales must be disclosed, Thomas does not do so. Thomas’s mother reportedly continued to live at home The crow is now the master of this year.

2015: Thomas reveals one of Crowe’s gifts — a $6,484.12 Statue of Douglas,

2018Crowe donated $105,000 to Yale Law School for a portrait of Thomas.

June 2019 (and surrounding years): Thomas accepts a trip to Malaysia that includes private airfare and a superyacht from Crowe, who ProPublica Aftermath Values at over $500,000. It’s just one of several luxury trips Thomas accepts from Crowe “almost every year,” the outlet recently reported. Thomas does not disclose these visits, as he visited Bohemian Grove in 1997.

November 2020-January 2021: Ginny Thomas Exchange Text messages with Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows strategizing efforts to overturn Trump Election Harm. In the texts, she refers to outreach to “Jared,” potential White House official and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. She also joins the “Stop the Steal” rally, which took place before January 6 Capitol Rebellion.

December 2021: Ginny Thomas signs a public letter Strong criticism of the 6th January Committee.

January 2022: Justice Thomas offers only dissent As of January 6 the Supreme Court granted the committee access to Trump White House records. When details of Ginny Thomas’ post-2020 assignment with the White House emerge, some experts argue that she should have recused herself from matters related to January 6. While the Meadows texts were omitted from the court’s decision, experts say it raises the possibility Justice Thomas Voting to potentially shield your wife’s communication with the White House and to protect his allies in efforts to overturn the election.

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