Senators Urge Special Counsel Probe into Justice Thomas Over Ethics and Tax Law Violations

Washington, DC – Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Ron Wyden of Oregon have formally requested that Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a Special Counsel to probe alleged legal breaches by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas involving undisclosed financial gifts and other benefits. Both senators, who hold significant positions in Senate subcommities related to judiciary and finance, expressed that the evidence gathered indicates a deeper investigation is warranted into whether Justice Thomas violated ethics, false statement, and tax laws.

In their correspondence to Garland, the senators highlighted the gravity of their request, pointing out a “suspicious silence” from Justice Thomas in response to prior inquiries about his conduct. They argued that the pattern of conduct by Thomas indicates possible willful violations that would necessitate criminal investigation and also questioned the compliance of his benefactors with federal tax obligations.

A key element of their urgent request centers on the discovery that Justice Thomas may have failed to report over $267,000 in forgiven debt related to the purchase of a luxury motorcoach. This debt, along with numerous other gifts from wealthy patrons that include private jet flights, yacht trips, exclusive club memberships, and more have reportedly not been disclosed in Thomas’s legally-mandated financial disclosures.

The call for a Special Counsel also stems from broader concerns about undisclosed payments facilitated by Leonard Leo, a well-known figure in conservative legal circles, to a company run by Thomas’s wife, which the senators argue warrants further scrutiny. The specifics of these transactions and any potential coordinated effort to direct unreported benefits to justices like Thomas are still unclear.

Adding to these issues, past disclosures reveal omissions that were later amended by Thomas, who claimed some were “inadvertent.” However, the senators contend that the pattern of omissions signals a “pattern of willfulness,” thus justifying their request for a comprehensive investigation by an independent counsel.

Senators Whitehouse and Wyden’s request for a Special Counsel is framed within the broader context of justice and accountability, emphasizing that ensuring the highest standards of ethical conduct for government officials is essential for maintaining public trust. They suggested that the appointment of a Special Counsel would ensure a rigorous and impartial investigation, thereby reinforcing public confidence in the justice system.

Historical precedences where other government officials faced charges for less severe conduct were also provided as a basis for their request, underlining the urgent need for thorough scrutiny of Justice Thomas’s actions relative to existing legal frameworks.

Their plea ends with a staunch reminder that no individual, irrespective of their government position, should be immune to the law, urging that actions be taken to review and address any wrongdoings accordingly to uphold the integrity of governmental operations.

Concluding their request, the senators thanked the Attorney General for his attention to what they consider to be a matter of profound public interest, underscoring the necessity of clarity and accountability in the actions of public servants, up to and including members of the Supreme Court.