Probing Drama Heating UP – AOC vs. Thomas

( – Squad member and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the Department of Justice launch an investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas due to his relationship with Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow.

In the Aug. 11 letter, Ocasio-Cortez and four of her progressive colleagues in the House say that gifts Thomas received from Crow, a Texas real estate developer, over the last 15 years were accepted “in defiance of his duty under federal law.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Ranking Members Jerrold and Jamie Raskin, as well as Judiciary Members Ted Lieu and Hank Johnson, asked that Thomas be investigated by the Department of Justice for violating the Ethics of Government Act of 1978.

The letter states that he did not recuse himself from cases that had a “potential conflict of interest.”

The letter references an April ProPublica report that showed Thomas accompanied Crow on luxury vacations on his private jet, yacht, and vacation property. The letter also references a second ProPublica report that says Thomas received other gifts from other wealthy donors.

The letter was sent after the latest Aug. 10 ProPublica report, which details the number of gifts Thomas received from Crow, showing he had been given 38 vacations as well as 26 private jet flights. According to the latest report, Thomas was also given VIP access to sporting events. The report noted that some of the gifts may not have required disclosure; however, the report states that not disclosing “flights, yacht cruises, and expensive sports tickets” might have been a violation of the law.

After the Aug. 10 report, Democrats renewed calls for Thomas to resign from the Supreme Court.

Thomas released a statement in April saying that he has always followed the guidance of the Supreme Court. Thomas stated that according to guidance from “early in his tenure at the Court,” there was no need to report “personal hospitality from close personal friends” if the friends “did not have business before the Court.”

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