“The Clarence Thomas Controversy Takes a Darker Turn

In a recent investigative report by ProPublica, new details have emerged surrounding Justice Clarence Thomas, suggesting a troubling financial situation and potential ethical lapses. The report reveals that Thomas, facing financial strain and dissatisfaction with his salary, hinted at the possibility of resigning from the Supreme Court unless his financial circumstances improved. Shortly thereafter, influential conservatives, including Harlan Crow, showered him with expensive gifts and luxurious vacations.

ProPublica discloses that in the year 2000, Thomas conveyed to Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns that Supreme Court justices deserved a pay raise, insinuating that some might resign without one. This revelation sparked concern among conservatives, recognizing Thomas’s significance as a key conservative figure on the court.

Stearns, recounting the conversation, stated, “We wanted to make sure he felt comfortable in his job and he was being paid properly.” At that time, a potential resignation would have allowed then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, to nominate a replacement, and Republicans, who controlled the Senate, would have overseen the confirmation process.

The report also highlights a trip Thomas took to Awakening, a conservative event in Georgia, in 2000, where his expenses were covered by the organizers. This trip was not disclosed on his annual disclosure form, raising questions about a possible violation of federal disclosure laws.

Thomas’s financial dealings have been under scrutiny, with ProPublica uncovering a series of reports exposing gifts from Republican donors, including unreported luxury travel, resort stays, school fees, and a property purchase. Despite these revelations, Thomas has denied any wrongdoing, vowing to adhere to disclosure rules.

The report indicates that Thomas was facing financial difficulties during his conversation with Stearns. A letter from Stearns dated January 11, 2000, expressed the congressman’s intention to explore a bill raising Supreme Court justices’ salaries.

While progressives have called for Thomas’s resignation or impeachment, the likelihood of such outcomes remains minimal given the conservative majority on the court and Republican control of the House and Senate.

ProPublica notes that Thomas’s financial situation improved in his second decade on the court, citing a $1.5 million advance for his memoir and gifts from wealthy individuals. However, questions persist about the justice’s ethical conduct, with critics, such as former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, describing him as a ‘loyal judicial prostitute.’

The report concludes with concerns about Thomas’s perceived use of his position for personal gain, asserting the need to restore credibility and integrity to the nation’s highest court amid a corruption crisis involving key figures like Justice Thomas, Harlan Crow, and Leonard Leo.”

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