In the wake of an investigative report produced by liberal nonprofit group ProPublica detailing trips taken by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over the course of many years, progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for the conservative jurist to be impeached, as The Hill reports.
The report suggests that Thomas improperly accepted luxury travel and accommodations from wealthy Republican donor and businessman Harlan Crow for decades without making the proper disclosures, something Ocasio-Cortez says evinces an “almost cartoonish” degree of corruption.
Taking to Twitter to comment on the revelations, Ocasio-Cortez declared, “This is beyond party or partisanship.”
Contending that “[t]his degree of corruption is shocking,” the lawmaker asserted that “Thomas must be impeached.”
As The Hill further noted, the Democrat from New York also hyperbolically argued that Thomas' relationship with Crow would cast a dark shadow on the high court going forward.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
According to ProPublica, Thomas has enjoyed a long string of lavish journeys on Crow's dime, many of which featured flights on private jets, adventures on private yachts, and stays at exclusive resorts around the world.
The organization said that according to at least two ethics law experts, Thomas' failure to include those outings on required financial disclosure forms amounts to a violation of federal statute requiring justices, judges, lawmakers, and federal officials to reveal almost all categories of gifts.
Thomas, for his part, responded to the report on Friday by denying that he engaged in any wrongdoing and explaining the nature of the relationship he and his wife have with Crow and his wife Kathy, as the Daily Caller reported.
“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years,” Thomas' statement began.
The longtime justice continued, “As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them.”
“Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary and was advised that his sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable,” Thomas went on.
“I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my entire tenure and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines,” Thomas said, noting that “[t]hese guidelines are now being changed, as the committee of the Judicial Conference responsible for financial disclosure for the entire federal judiciary just this past month announced new guidance. And, it is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future.”
Considering that a House ethics review earlier this year determined that there was “substantial reason to believe” that AOC herself accepted impermissible gifts in connection with her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala, the congresswoman may want to think twice about calling for others' impeachment – particularly when her own hands do not appear to be terribly clean.