Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Admits Failing To Report Free Trips From GOP Billionaire

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged for the first time on June 7 during a financial disclosure filing that he failed to report two different free vacations that he received from Dallas billionaire Republican Harlan Crow.

The two vacations took place in 2019, one to Indonesia and the other to Bohemian Grove — which is an all-male luxury retreat in northern California, ABC News reports.

The admission is unexpected since Justice Thomas argued just last year that he believed he was not required to disclose gifts of that nature, ProPublica reported.

His lawyer previously said in a statement, “Justice Thomas’s critics allege that he failed to report gifts from wealthy friends. [That’s] untrue.”

In the new financial release filing, Thomas revealed an amendment for his 2019 financial disclosure, claiming that he “inadvertently omitted” the 2019 trips the first time around. 

As previously reported by ProPublica, this is not the first time Thomas failed to disclose some of his luxury vacations and gifts. Crow specifically gifted Thomas with “numerous private jet flights and international yacht cruises, covered private school tuition for Thomas’ relatives, and [once] paid Thomas money in an undisclosed 2014 real estate deal.”

Other justices have also been flagged in the media for reporting shocking monetary reports of received gifts. Fellow Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson disclosed receiving an advance of nearly $900,000 for her upcoming memoir and four tickets to a Beyoncé concert valued at nearly $4,000.

However, legal experts said that Thomas particularly seems to have broken the law by failing to properly disclose the trips and gifts he received. 

In response to Thomas and other justices being found to have been in a crisis of ethics, polls show public approval of the court as a whole has declined in the past few years. 

For the first time, last year, the court adopted a code of conduct for gift disclosure, so, by law “if there is “reasonable cause” to believe a justice intentionally omitted information from a report, the conference is supposed to refer the matter to the attorney general.” However, such a referral had not happened yet.

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