Democrats seek full gift list from Clarence Thomas philanthropist Harlan Crowe

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded a list of all the gifts over $415 that conservative billionaire Harlan Crowe made to Supreme Court justices after reports that Justice Clarence Thomas hid hundreds of thousands of dollars in free gifts from Crowe.

The request, made in a letter signed by all of the committee’s Democratic members, It is the first official request from the commission as it investigates ethical misconduct in a court that refuses to adhere to an official code of conduct.

The letter requires Crowe to disclose to the committee “all gifts, payments, and items in excess of $415” made to the judges or their families by “you or entities that you own, control, or with whom you have acted as a partner, director, or officer.” The committee also requires Crow to disclose any real estate transaction, travel, stay, or admission to a private club that has given him to Justice or his family.

Since joining the court, Thomas has failed to reveal lavish gifts from the Crow in the form of private jet travel, luxury vacations and private club entry, according to ProPublica. Crow too He bought Thomas’ ancestral home Out of justice repaired and allowed Thomas’ mother lives there rent-free. In addition, Crow Pay tuition fees at a private school for Thomas’s nephew, whom Thomas treated as his adopted son. Thomas failed to disclose both the sale of his family home and the covered tuition fees for his adopted son.

Thomas faced a similar scandal in 2011, when Reports revealed that he failed to disclose the income His wife, Virginia “Jenny” Thomas, received support from a group of conservative organizations. In one instance, Crowe financed a tea party line launched by Jenny Thomas, paying her $120,000.

Crow’s request follows the Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on the court’s ethics problems on May 2. Commission Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) initially sought testimony from Chief Justice John Roberts or his representative, but Roberts denied the request, claiming that it violated the separation of powers.

The letter to Crowe states that the committee is investigating whether the court is properly fulfilling a “Statement Concerning Ethical Principles and Practice” that all of the justices signed on April 25. This statement confirmed that the judges had followed financial disclosure laws since 1991.

The committee’s goal is to “identify deficiencies identified” in the court’s statement on ethics in order to determine whether it meets what is required by existing law, or if new legislation is needed.

Citing the letter to potential new legislation could be a precursor to a subpoena if Crowe refuses to comply voluntarily, as Congress has broad constitutional investigative power in pursuing its legislative function.

Crow has already refused to comply with a request for information from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (raw Democrat). Wyden Crow asked to reveal to the commission by May 8 whether he had paid gift taxes for what he had given to Thomas, and if so, what and how much of the gifts. It is said that Crow He sent a “blocking letter” in response.

Any subpoena to force Crow to testify or disclose information would require all Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to be available to vote. The matter is complicated by the months-long absence of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) while she recovers from a reported case of shingles.

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