AOC says Clarence Thomas’s statement on lavish trips ‘raises more serious questions’

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the vice ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, votes on a Democratic amendment to the rules during an organizational meeting for the 118th Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

AOC says Clarence Thomas’s statement on lavish trips ‘raises more serious questions’

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) believes Justice Clarence Thomas‘s statement, where he defended himself against allegations of corruption from undisclosed gifts, only “raises more serious questions.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who has been vocal in calling for action against Thomas, including saying he should be impeached over the undisclosed gifts, doubled down on her criticisms of the Supreme Court justice while speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

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“I think that his own statement contradicts many of the facts on the ground and also raises, in other ways, even more serious questions. Later on in his statement, he stated that the reason and the rationale for this exemption was personal hospitality from an old friend. And he said himself in his statement — a friend of 25 years. Justice Thomas has been on the court for 30 years, and so to say what he is admitting in his statement, in an attempt to defend himself, is that he began this relationship with a billionaire and receiving these sorts of gifts after he was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. I think that in and of itself indicates a very, very serious problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

The New York congresswoman also said the statement implicates other justices because of how he cited guidance from others over why he did not disclose the gifts.

“And then on top of that, he is now implicating his colleagues, and I do believe that Chief Justice John Roberts must now come forward and state if he allows, and is allowing this kind of very serious corruption to happen on this court. I think you know when it comes to Justice Thomas’s statement when he’s talking about his colleagues and when he’s talking about who advised him to break the law. I think we need to know who those people are,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

She also said there should be an investigation into Thomas, but said the high court does not have the “legitimacy” to investigate itself, citing the inconclusive investigation of the Supreme Court leak in 2022.

Thomas, in a statement on Friday, said he did go on trips with his friend Harlan Crow, who is a Dallas-based real estate developer and GOP donor, but said he followed guidance for disclosing gifts at the time.

“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years. As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them,” the couple said in a statement. “Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable.”

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“I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines,” the statement continued. “These guidelines are now being changed, as the committee of the Judicial Conference responsible for financial disclosure for the entire federal judiciary just this past month announced new guidance. And, it is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future.”

Ocasio-Cortez has called for Thomas to be impeached over the undisclosed gifts and does not appear to be backing down from those calls after Thomas’s statement.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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