U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas just issued a rare statement in response to the recent allegations of impropriety that have been made against him.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, it comes following the publication of the results of an investigation conducted by ProPublica.
For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show.
That Dallas businessman is the real estate magnate Harlan Crow. ProPublica, in its report, details some of these trips. One, for example, was a 2019 trip to Indonesia, which could have cost upwards of $500,000.
But, significantly, the outlet claims that Thomas's actions may be a violation of the law.
[Thomas's] failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress, and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said.
Now, many on the political left are using ProPublica's report to call for Thomas's resignation. And, some are even going so far as to call for Thomas's impeachment. This includes far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who tweeted:
This is beyond party or partisanship. This degree of corruption is shocking - almost cartoonish. Thomas must be impeached. 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.
This, of course, is far from the first time that Thomas has been attacked by the political left. This time, though, Thomas has responded with a statement.
In that statement, Thomas referred to Harland and Kathy Crow as among his "dearest friends." And, Thomas says that this has been the case for "over twenty-five years."
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 this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable.
Thomas, however, goes on to note that things have changed.
I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines. These 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.
Crow released a statement of his own indicating that he never sought to influence Thomas's judicial decision-making.
Neither Thomas's nor Crow's statement is likely to placate the political left, which - no doubt - is looking for a chance to put another liberal on the Supreme Court.