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Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire

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by Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski
April 6, 5 a.m. EDT

Clarence Thomas Secretly Accepted Luxury Trips from GOP Donor

"IN LATE JUNE 2019, right after the U.S. Supreme Court released its final opinion of the term, Justice Clarence Thomas boarded a large private jet headed to Indonesia. He and his wife were going on vacation: nine days of island-hopping in a volcanic archipelago on a superyacht staffed by a coterie of attendants and a private chef.

If Thomas had chartered the plane and the 162-foot yacht himself, the total cost of the trip could have exceeded $500,000. Fortunately for him, that wasn’t necessary: He was on vacation with real estate magnate and Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, who owned the jet — and the yacht, too.

For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.

The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court..."

Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire 20230405_SCOTUS_ClarenceThomas_03.JPG?crop=focalpoint&fit=crop&fm=webp&fp-x=0.5&fp-y=0
A painting that hangs at Camp Topridge shows Crow, far right, and Thomas, second from right, smoking cigars at the resort. They are joined by lawyers Peter Rutledge, Leonard Leo and Mark Paoletta, from left. Credit:Painting by Sharif Tarabay


(This article is too long and too complicated in its formatting to post the whole thing here. It should be read in its entirety).


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