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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Democrats push Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Clarence Thomas’ lavish gifts from billionaires

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Clarence Thomas

Drew Angerer/Getty Images, left, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of House Democrats has asked the DOJ to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The letter stated that Thomas should be investigated because of the dozens of gifts he failed to disclose.
In recent months, Thomas has been under fire for taking undisclosed, luxury trips with wealthy friends.

A group of House Democrats has upped the pressure on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, asking the Department of Justice to probe his relationship with GOP megadonors.

On Friday, five House Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, sent a letter to Garland asking him to investigate Thomas and the undisclosed gifts he received from donor Harlan Crow and other wealthy friends, which they claimed were, “in defiance of his duty under federal law.”

The letter comes a day after ProPublica revealed new details about Thomas’ relationship with Crow and other rich associates, unearthing that the SCOTUS Justice had been treated to 38 vacations, boarded 26 private jet flights, and been given VIP access at sporting events and luxury resorts.

On Thursday, after ProPublica published its latest report, a chorus of Democrats called on Thomas to resign, according to Politico.

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Jamie Raskin, Hank Johnson, Ted Lieu, and Jerry Nadler signed on to the new letter.

“Justice Thomas’s consistent failure to disclose gifts and benefits from industry magnates and wealthy, politically active executives highlights a blatant disregard for judicial ethics as well as legal violations,” the Democrats wrote in the letter. “No individual, regardless of their position or stature, should be exempt from legal scrutiny for lawbreaking.”

Thomas did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

In April, Crow and Thomas first faced scrutiny related to the 20 years worth of undisclosed trips Crow is accused of gifting to Thomas, per ProPublica. The outlet later reported that Crow purchased Thomas’ mother’s house and allowed her to live there without paying rent.

In response, Thomas — who asked for an extension to file his financial disclosure forms this year — said that at the time he wasn’t aware that he was meant to disclose the trips with Crow.

Crow claimed to the Dallas Morning News that the revelations about his relationship with Thomas were a “political hit job.”  Crow did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Some of the trips were aboard Crow’s yacht, the Michaela Rose, and were organized through Rochelle Charter, a company registered to charter the yacht, according to ProPublica. Crow paid his own company for private trips on the yacht, allowing friends like Thomas aboard, and was able to secure tax breaks and lower his tax bill, according to tax data from 2003 through 2015 reviewed by ProPublica.

A group of judges, the Committee on Financial Disclosure, is also investigating Thomas and disclosure rules, while Senate Democrats have mounted a separate attempt to investigate Thomas and other justices, requesting a hearing but being denied attendance by SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Clarence Thomas

Drew Angerer/Getty Images, left, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of House Democrats has asked the DOJ to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The letter stated that Thomas should be investigated because of the dozens of gifts he failed to disclose.
In recent months, Thomas has been under fire for taking undisclosed, luxury trips with wealthy friends.

A group of House Democrats has upped the pressure on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, asking the Department of Justice to probe his relationship with GOP megadonors.

On Friday, five House Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, sent a letter to Garland asking him to investigate Thomas and the undisclosed gifts he received from donor Harlan Crow and other wealthy friends, which they claimed were, “in defiance of his duty under federal law.”

The letter comes a day after ProPublica revealed new details about Thomas’ relationship with Crow and other rich associates, unearthing that the SCOTUS Justice had been treated to 38 vacations, boarded 26 private jet flights, and been given VIP access at sporting events and luxury resorts.

On Thursday, after ProPublica published its latest report, a chorus of Democrats called on Thomas to resign, according to Politico.

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Jamie Raskin, Hank Johnson, Ted Lieu, and Jerry Nadler signed on to the new letter.

“Justice Thomas’s consistent failure to disclose gifts and benefits from industry magnates and wealthy, politically active executives highlights a blatant disregard for judicial ethics as well as legal violations,” the Democrats wrote in the letter. “No individual, regardless of their position or stature, should be exempt from legal scrutiny for lawbreaking.”

Thomas did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

In April, Crow and Thomas first faced scrutiny related to the 20 years worth of undisclosed trips Crow is accused of gifting to Thomas, per ProPublica. The outlet later reported that Crow purchased Thomas’ mother’s house and allowed her to live there without paying rent.

In response, Thomas — who asked for an extension to file his financial disclosure forms this year — said that at the time he wasn’t aware that he was meant to disclose the trips with Crow.

Crow claimed to the Dallas Morning News that the revelations about his relationship with Thomas were a “political hit job.”  Crow did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Some of the trips were aboard Crow’s yacht, the Michaela Rose, and were organized through Rochelle Charter, a company registered to charter the yacht, according to ProPublica. Crow paid his own company for private trips on the yacht, allowing friends like Thomas aboard, and was able to secure tax breaks and lower his tax bill, according to tax data from 2003 through 2015 reviewed by ProPublica.

A group of judges, the Committee on Financial Disclosure, is also investigating Thomas and disclosure rules, while Senate Democrats have mounted a separate attempt to investigate Thomas and other justices, requesting a hearing but being denied attendance by SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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