US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomasquestioned for having accepted luxury trips from a billionaire Republican donor, made public this Thursday the displacements made in 2022 but cited security reasons to travel by private jet.
His financial report indicates that he accepted from real estate magnate Harlan Crow two trips to Dallas (Texas), one to Salt Lake City (Utah) and another to Keese Mill (New York) between February and December 2022.
The first, between February 3 and 5 of last year, was intended to be the keynote speaker at the American Business Institute conference in Dallas. His return occurred by private plane, he said, because of an unexpected snowstorm.
Thomas returned to Dallas between May 12 and 14 to participate again in an American Business Institute conference. He had free transportation and meals, while in Salt Lake City, between March 10 and 12, also as a speaker, he was provided with transportation, meals, and lodging.
The last trip, to Keese Mill in Julyhe was already a guest of Crow, and there he also had free travel, meals and accommodation.
Thomas justified in his financial report that in May he was recommended to go by private plane due to an increased security risk after the Supreme Court ruling, which in June of last year repealed the protection of the right to abortion at the federal level.
The magistrate also considered that he was not obliged to describe his July stay with the Crows as a “gift.”
The magistrate reiterated in that letter that, until the new policy in this regard established in March in matters of “personal hospitality”, he was exempt from having to declare this type of travel.
The investigative journalistic organization ProPublica reported in early August that Thomas accepted at least 38 luxury vacations from US millionaires. previously undisclosed, including stays at luxurious resorts in Florida and Jamaica, as well as 26 private jet flights, eight helicopter flights and tickets to major sporting events.
His wife, conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, also attended many of these trips.who was involved in the campaign for former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) to try to annul Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections.
The problem with all those trips is that Thomas did not include them in the financial reports that he must submit to the Supreme Court, in compliance with an anti-corruption law that was passed after the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.
ProPublica was the one who revealed in April that Thomas had vacationed for more than two decades on superyachts and private planes paid for by Crow.
Thomas, 75 years old and serving for life, was appointed in 1991 by Republican President George HW Bush (1989-1993) and, during his more than thirty years on the Supreme Court, he has held some of the most conservative positions on issues such as abortion and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
After these revelations, some members of the Democratic Party questioned his behavioramong them Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who considered that he should be subjected to an impeachment process (political trial), the only way that exists to remove a Supreme Court magistrate, since these positions are for life.
With information from Efe.
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Source: La Opinion