Senate panel seeks list of Harlan Crow gifts to Clarence Thomas

Harlan Crow, chairman and chief government officer of Crow Holdings LLC, sits for {a photograph} on the Outdated Parkland property places of work in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015.

Chris Goodney | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Monday requested GOP megadonor Harlan Crow for a whole checklist of presents to Supreme Court docket Justice Clarence Thomas and proof that the billionaire actual property developer complied with federal tax legislation in reference to the long-undisclosed largesse to Thomas.

“This unprecedented association between a rich benefactor and a Supreme Court docket justice raises critical considerations associated to federal tax and ethics legal guidelines,”¬†Wyden, who heads the Senate Finance Committee, wrote in a six-page letter to Crow.

Wyden’s letter was despatched as Thomas and the Supreme Court docket itself face criticism following an April 6 report by ProPublica that the CEO of Crow Holdings for greater than 20 years has handled the conservative justice to luxurious journeys value a minimum of lots of of 1000’s of {dollars}.

ProPublica additionally reported on April 13 {that a} Crow firm in 2014 bought three properties in Savannah, Georgia, from Thomas and his household, together with a house the place the justice’s mom has lived rent-free for greater than a decade.

The gifted journeys to Thomas and his spouse, Ginni, had been to locations akin to Indonesia, New Zealand and Greece, with journey on Crow’s non-public jet and 162-foot superyacht Michaela Rose.

Thomas had not disclosed any of the presents from Crow, or the property purchases by him, till they had been revealed by ProPublica.

“The secrecy surrounding your dealings with Justice Thomas is just unacceptable,” Wyden wrote in his letter to Crow.

“The American public deserves a full accounting of the complete extent of your largesse in direction of Justice Thomas, together with whether or not these presents complied with all related federal tax and ethics legal guidelines,” he wrote.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., speaks throughout a Senate Finance Committee nomination listening to on Feb. 23, 2021.

Greg Nash | Pool | Reuters

The letter asks for an inventory of all flights Thomas took on any of Crow’s jets, in addition to particulars of these journeys. Wyden requested comparable particulars concerning the justice’s journeys on the Michaela Rose and details about the Georgia property purchases.

He concluded by writing, “Please checklist any extra presents or funds with a worth in extra of $1,000 made to Justice Thomas or members of his household since he was sworn into the Supreme Court docket that
wouldn’t be captured by” the prior questions.

CNBC Politics

Learn extra of CNBC’s politics protection:

Wyden’s letter famous that federal tax legislation requires the giver of a present to pay any relevant tax.

“The IRS has lengthy made clear the present tax applies to the transferor of a present, together with in instances the place
the transferor offers for the ‘use of property’ with out anticipating to obtain one thing of at
least equal worth in return,” Wyden wrote.

Along with asking Crow for proof associated to the potential for present taxes being owed by the enterprise, Wyden requested whether or not Crow claimed enterprise deductions or depreciation for his airplane and yacht associated to the journeys by Thomas.

Wyden is the rating Senate Democrat on Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.

Affiliate Supreme Court docket Justice Clarence Thomas arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Decide Neil Gorsuch as an affiliate Supreme Court docket justice within the Rose Backyard of the White Home in Washington, April 10, 2017.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

A spokesman for Crow didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from CNBC about Wyden’s letter. Thomas didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark despatched to the Supreme Court docket’s media affairs workplace.

Final week, Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who’s chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, invited Supreme Court docket Chief Justice John Roberts to testify about ethics reform of the excessive courtroom.

Durbin’s letter to Roberts famous that “there was a gradual stream of revelations concerning Justices falling in need of the moral requirements anticipated of different federal judges.”

Roberts has but to answer to that invitation, Durbin famous over the weekend.

Back To Top