Republican billionaire Harlan Crow says his friend Clarence Thomas is the victim of a “political hit job” amid outrage over reports that the Supreme Court justice failed to disclose various luxury vacations Crow paid for, as well as a real estate deal.
“I think it’s a political hit job,” Crow said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, adding that he doesn’t think the media cares as much about him as they do about Thomas.
“But I think that the media, and this ProPublica group in particular, funded by leftists, has an agenda to destabilize the court. What they’ve done is not truthful. It lacks integrity. They’ve done a pretty good job in the last week or two of unfairly slamming me and more importantly than that, unfairly slamming Justice Thomas,” Crow said.
The initial report from ProPublica — an independent, nonprofit news organization — earlier this month found that Crow paid for Thomas to take part in multiple expensive vacations over two decades — trips the justice never reported. A follow-up article from last week reported that Thomas also didn’t disclose a 2014 real estate deal he’d made with the Texas billionaire.
Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica’s editor in chief, told the Dallas Morning News that both Crow and Thomas were “given detailed, written questions in advance” of the stories, and that while Thomas declined to respond, Crow’s answers “were included in full.”
Thomas said after the first article that he was “advised” that he did not need to disclose the luxury trips.
Crow in the Dallas Morning News interview repeated his assertion given to ProPublica that he’d bought the Georgia home that Thomas’s mother was living in to eventually turn it into a museum on Thomas.
The findings from ProPublica have ignited outrage from Democrats about ethical standards on the country’s highest court.
“A lot of people that have opinions about this seem to think that there’s something wrong with this friendship. You know, it’s possible that people are just really friends,” Crow told the Morning News, adding that he wouldn’t try to influence the justice on matters such as abortion.
Asked whether he would be friends with Thomas if he didn’t have the Supreme Court justice title, Crow told the outlet, “It’s an interesting, good question. I don’t know how to answer that. Maybe not. Maybe yes. I don’t know.”
Crow also said he doesn’t “know what mega donor means.”