Home Politics Elections Report Says GOP Donor Paid Private School Tuition for Justice Thomas’ Grandson

Report Says GOP Donor Paid Private School Tuition for Justice Thomas’ Grandson


The same Texas billionaire who paid for private boarding school tuition for Thomas’s grandfather to spend lavish vacations with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is raising a boy the justice has said he raised as a son, a According to the new report, Thomas did not disclose the payment.

ProPublica reported that Harlan Crowe, a major Republican donor, paid tuition for Mark Martin at Hidden Lake Academy, a boarding school in Georgia, as well as Randolph-Macon Academy in Virginia. Thomas had legal custody of the boy.

The publication cited a bank statement showing Crowe was paid $6,200 in monthly tuition at Hidden Lake Academy in July 2009 and quoted Christopher Grimwood, a former school administrator, as saying that Crowe “had picked up” for the entire time Martin was a student there, approximately one year. Grimwood also told ProPublica that Crowe told her that he also paid tuition for Martin at Randolph-Macon Academy, which Martin attended before and after his time at Hidden Lake Academy.

ProPublica said the total number of crows paid for Martin’s education is unclear. But if she paid for all four years at the two schools, the cost could exceed $150,000, based on public records of tuition rates at the schools, the publication reported.

ProPublica said Thomas did not answer questions about the tuition arrangement. Thomas did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday from The Washington Post. Neither Thomas nor the court’s public information office has responded to previous questions about Crowe’s spending.

In a previous statement following a ProPublica report on Crowe pay for his holidaysThomas said he and his wife consider Crowe and his wife “among our dearest friends” and had been advised not to disclose the couple’s hospitality, which included travel on a private jet and yacht. .

In a statement Thursday, Mark Paoletta, a friend of Thomas, said Crowe’s aid was limited to two years, one at Randolph Macon, Crowe’s alma mater, and one at Hidden Lake Academy.

Paoletta said the funds go directly to the school and that Thomas was not required to disclose them because the Government Act does not include a grandparent in the definition of a “dependent child” in ethics.

Paoletta said, “Justice Thomas and his wife devoted twelve years of their lives to taking in and caring for a beloved child—who was not their own—as Justice Thomas’ grandparents had done for them. ” “He made many personal and financial sacrifices to make it happen. And along the way, his friends have joined him in doing everything they can to give this child a future.

Crowe’s office issued a statement not disputing that Crowe paid for Martin’s education.

“Harlan Crow has long been passionate about the importance of quality education and giving back to those less fortunate, especially at-risk youth,” the statement said. “As part of his desire to uphold the American dream for all, and believing education is the great equalizer, he and his wife have supported many young Americans through scholarships and other programs at various schools. “

“It is disappointing that people with partisan political interests would try to turn helping at-risk youth with tuition assistance into something nefarious or politicized,” the statement said.

The latest revelations come at a time when Democrats are pushing for greater transparency from the Supreme Court and calling on judges to establish stronger rules for reporting and acting on potential conflicts of interest.

Federal ethics law requires top officials from all three branches of government, including Supreme Court justices, to file annual financial disclosure forms listing outside income and investments. A separate judicial code of conduct instructs lower court judges to avoid “the appearance of impropriety in all activities”. In addition, a federal law allows for the filing and investigation of misconduct complaints against lower court judges.

The nine judges do not have such a code, although court transparency advocates and some lawmakers have long pressed the high court to adopt one. the judges have held discussions but failed to reach a consensus on a binding policyDespite talks dating back to at least 2019, The Washington Post reported this year.

In addition to Crowe paying for vacations for Thomas, ProPublica has previously reported that he moved Thomas to Savannah, Ga., in 2014.

Thomas did not disclose the $133,363 real estate transaction on his financial disclosure forms. Crowe told ProPublica that he wanted to preserve the first property as a museum dedicated to Thomas in the future, and said he has spent thousands of dollars on improvements to the home “to maintain its long-term viability.”

Thomas has not spoken publicly about the purchase.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch has also come under scrutiny after a Politico report that he did not disclose The president of a major law firm bought a Colorado property in 2017 In which justice showed interest.

The latest report has come after a few days senate hearing On the ethics of the Supreme Court, some Republican senators also suggested that the justices should heed public calls for a stronger and clearer code of conduct.

Robert Barnes, Leigh Ann Caldwell and Amy B. Wang contributed to this report.

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