U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Thomas' financial disclosure issues referred to committee of federal judges

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GettyImages-Clarence Thomas October 2022

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas poses for an official portrait in the Supreme Court building Oct. 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

A request for an investigation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for alleged financial disclosure failures has been referred to the U.S. Judicial Conference’s Committee on Financial Disclosure, according to a letter reviewed by the Washington Post.

Two Democratic lawmakers, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, had asked the Judicial Conference to refer the matter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to the Washington Post and Politico.

Whitehouse and Johnson said “there is at least reasonable cause to believe that Justice Thomas intentionally disregarded the disclosure requirement” when he failed to report the sale of his interest in three properties in Savannah, Georgia, to his wealthy friend Harlan Crow, a billionaire and a Republican donor. In such cases a referral is required, the lawmakers’ letter said.

The lawmakers also noted a ProPublica report that said Thomas accepted luxury trips from Crow that included jet flights, cruises on a superyacht and stays at Crow’s private resorts.

The Committee on Financial Disclosure is made up of 16 federal judges.

The Washington Post cited one prior occasion in which the Department of Justice investigated the travel expenses of a federal appeals judge. There was no prosecution following the 2014 investigation.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Weekly Briefs: Justice Thomas responds to luxury trips story; suit filed over Idaho AG’s abortion referrals opinion”

ABAJournal.com: “Justice Thomas listed income from a real-estate firm even after it closed in 2006”

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