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Tags: wyden | whitehouse | ethics | supreme court | thomas

Dem Senators Demand Ethics Probe of Justice Thomas

By    |   Tuesday, 09 July 2024 04:23 PM EDT

Two prominent Democrat Senate committee leaders have called for a special counsel investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, CNBC reported.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who chairs a subcommittee on federal courts, have requested that Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to examine potential violations of federal tax and ethics laws by Justice Thomas.

The senators alleged that evidence points to Thomas having "secretly accepted gifts and income potentially worth millions of dollars" since his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1991. They emphasized the seriousness of their request in a letter dated July 3 to Garland, stating, "We do not make this request lightly."

According to Wyden and Whitehouse, the evidence gathered suggests Thomas has committed "numerous willful violations of federal ethics and false-statement laws."

They also speculated whether Thomas and his affluent benefactors have adhered to their federal tax responsibilities. The letter cites reports from ProPublica and other sources, along with their Senate investigation, indicating that Thomas may have violated federal law by accepting extravagant gifts without proper disclosure, as mandated by the Ethics in Government Act.

On July 1, 1991, Republican President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed the appointment on October 15, 1991.

Just two days before the letter was written, Thomas expressed skepticism over the Department of Justice's authority to appoint special counsels. This skepticism was part of a concurring statement in a Supreme Court ruling that former presidents have absolute immunity for certain actions taken while in office and at least presumptive immunity for all other official acts.

The 6-3 majority ruling was seen as a significant victory for former President Donald Trump.

Trump argued that he was immune from prosecution in a federal election interference case pursued by special counsel Jack Smith. The court's decision and Thomas' concurrence, opposed by the court's liberal justices, have the potential to delay or undermine Smith's active criminal cases against Trump.

In his concurrence, Thomas wrote, "If there is no law establishing the office that the Special Counsel occupies, then he cannot proceed with this prosecution. A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone, let alone a former President."

This request for an investigation parallels the 1973 Watergate scandal, during which special prosecutors were appointed to investigate Justice William O. Douglas' misconduct allegations. That investigation ultimately did not result in charges or ethics violations against Douglas.

Meanwhile, in June, to combat alleged weaponization of government, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., joined Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.; House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn.; Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss.; and Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz. to discuss what they deem Democrats' abuse of the justice system, pledging that House Republicans would investigate the funding of corrupt departments that misuse their authority for political purposes.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Two prominent Democrat Senate committee leaders have called for a special counsel investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, CNBC reported.
wyden, whitehouse, ethics, supreme court, thomas
Tuesday, 09 July 2024 04:23 PM
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