Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday asked Harlan Crow to provide them with information on the gifts and travel he gave to conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, The Hill reported.
In letters sent both to Crow and the holding companies that own his Adirondacks property, private jet, and yacht, the Democrat Judiciary members demanded a full accounting of the gifts and trips by no later than May 22.
In their letters, the Democrats cite the recent reports from ProPublica outlining the trips the Thomases took with the Crows as well as the private school tuition Crow paid for Thomas’ great-nephew. In the hit pieces, ProPublica accuses Thomas of violating federal ethics law by failing to make disclosures about the gifts and trips.
Justice Thomas defended not disclosing the trips he and his wife took with the Crows, arguing that the Crows are lifelong friends and the trips fell under the “personal hospitality” exception in federal ethics laws.
Democrats, who are eager to regain some control over the Supreme Court now that it has a 6-3 conservative majority, are using the recent hit pieces against Thomas to force through new ethics laws for the Judicial branch and, in some cases, demand that the conservative Justice Thomas either resign or be impeached.
In their letter, the Democrat senators claim that the hit pieces suggest that “individuals who may have had” interests before the Court have gained “personal and private access to Justices” when justices accepted “gifts of transportation and travel.” They suggest that regardless of the reasons for Crow’s gifts to Justice Thomas, “it is a matter of significant public concern.”
In a statement this week, Harlan Crow’s office said it would be responding to the Senate Democrats’ letter “in due course.”
Neither Crow nor any of his companies have ever had business before the Supreme Court.