Fox News Pretends Thomas' Sugar Daddies Didn't Get What They Paid For

In the wake of recent reporting by ProPublica and others that Clarence Thomas amended an earlier financial disclosure to include even more gifts from Texas billionaire Harlan Crow, Fox “news” wants us to believe everything Thomas did was on the up and up.

Here’s America Reports anchor John Roberts and his guest Kerri Kupec Urbahn (their same legal “expert” that was just attacking the First Lady for attending Hunter’s trial earlier this week), pretending that Crow didn’t benefit from all the money he’s been lavishing on Thomas:

ROBERTS: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has made public his first annual financial disclosure report since facing a flurry of ethics attacks. Democrats have criticized Justice Thomas after a ProPublica report earlier this year revealed that he had received gifts from Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow without reporting them. His defenders, however, have argued that he has followed the court’s reporting guidelines.

Kerri Kupec Urbahn is a Fox News legal editor and former counselor to Attorney General Bill Barr, who’ll be with us, by the way, in our next hour. So a couple of the things on Clarence Thomas’ financial disclosure related to his billionaire friend Harlan Crow, that Harlan Crow paid for his transportation on a private jet to a conservative conference in Dallas in May of 2022, and then there was some involvement in a trip to the Adirondacks in New York State in July of 2022.

There’s also some notifications about a real estate deal where Harlan Crow bought a property that Clarence Thomas had, I believe it was South Carolina. What do you think about all this?

URBAHN: Yeah, breaking news. Clarence Thomas has some wealthy friends who have occasionally been generous to him over the years. And, you know John, I just think this narrative has been just so relentless against Clarence Thomas because there’s really only one fact that matters if you cut through the noise, and it’s that Harlan Crow and all of these friends in question had no business before the Supreme Court. Full stop.

ROBERTS: And as long as they didn’t have business before the Supreme Court, that absolves him of any perception of wrongdoing?

URBAHN: Look, I think, again, if you look at the facts here, and the fact that he had some wealthy friends who occasionally hosted him on, say, a nice vacation or paid at one point one tuition payment or two tuition payments for his nephew, that’s what we’re looking at.

And even, even by the way, even if they had business before the Supreme Court, that’s not even an automatic recusal, right? There would have to be a discussion. There would be meetings with ethics folks, etc., etc. So I think really what this is about at the end of the day is knocking Clarence Thomas out, specifically with respect to 2024.

Interesting. Elliot Burke, who is an attorney who helped. Clarence Thomas prepared the financial disclosure said this quote. “I’m confident that there has been no willful ethics transgression and any prior reporting errors were strictly inadvertent.” Thomas and Sam Alito both asked for a 90-day extension to release the disclosure forms. I think they were originally due back in the spring

But they also indicated that they may go back and amend previous disclosures.

URBAHN: And that happens. Other justices have had to do that over the years as well. You know, you have to remember that originally these guidelines and they still are to some extent, they’re fairly murky. They’re discretionary. That’s the point and so what Thomas has said repeatedly through spokespeople and a statement and etc. and a lawyer is that he has complied with these guidelines throughout the years. He’s consulted the appropriate people and he feels confident in what he disclosed and if there were any mistakes or any inadvertent non-disclosures, they’re happy to make them and that’s what I think he’s doing right now.

They wrapped things up by encouraging their viewers to read all of the nice letters his law clerks wrote on his behalf. Just imagine if it was one of the liberal justices with this issue instead of Thomas:

As CREW reported last year, Crow doesn’t have to have any cases directly in front of the court for he and his ilk to be benefiting: Clarence Thomas’s decisions have been benefiting wealthy donors like Harlan Crow — for decades:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s decisions have been benefiting wealthy and powerful political donors like Harlan Crow for decades. Thomas has, over and over and over, ruled against donor disclosure, and he has also repeatedly ruled against having any contribution limits at all, allowing the wealthy to spend without interference from pesky government regulations. Even if Thomas hasn’t specifically benefitted Crow through his decisions (although reports show Crow’s interests have come before the court) he has undeniably helped to make megadonors like Crow more powerful and more insulated from public criticism.

By now, Thomas’s apparent ethical violations are well known. The acceptance of lavish gifts from Crow and the failure to disclose them are likely egregious ethical breaches that a Supreme Court justice should know better than to accept or to cover up. But when you look at Thomas’s history of rulings on similar issues — especially cases where he was the lone dissent or in the extreme minority — it starts to look like Thomas was giving us a heavy-handed hint about his disdain for democracy, accountability and judicial ethics.

Read on…

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