It’s all just hanging out there, exposed, flapping rudely in the wind, and we’re supposed to pretend that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas isn’t selling out the country. The story is simple and transparent.
Thomas’s mother lived on some property owned by Thomas. Harlan Crow paid Thomas $133,363 for that property, and then allowed his mother to continue to live there rent-free afterwards, and in fact renovated the house, put on a new roof, a nice fence, etc.
Crow was the best landlord of all time!
Of course, what it all was was a pretext to put a whole lot of money in a judge’s pocket and curry favor with him. Thomas knew this; he rather obviously avoided reporting the whole money shuffle to the government, and tried to hide the source of this sudden largesse.
“He needed to report his interest in the sale,” said Virginia Canter, a former government ethics lawyer now at the watchdog group CREW. “Given the role Crow has played in subsidizing the lifestyle of Thomas and his wife, you have to wonder if this was an effort to put cash in their pockets.”
Oh, really? You think? I’m not wondering at all. Hint to ethics lawyers everywhere: the time for understatement is over. This is time to suspend him from the bench while impeachment proceedings are begun. I’d go so far as to suggest it’s time for handcuffs, except we all know that white collar crime by high-ranking federal officials is going to be treated with kid gloves, instead.
See also Robert Reich’s take on this situation.
Now, now. The GOP is merely showing off its diversity program.
Equal opportunity grifting for all who join.
With only a sparse few more equal than all others.
The inner circle motto, “Rules for thee, none for me!”.
The necessary supermajority means the Republican senators can and Will stop the impeachment.
Never mind! Let the Republicans go on record as supporting corruption, just as they are on record as not holding Trump accountable.
And on record for a lot of sh*t that the voters should be reminded of every election, if the useless party (D) for once can run a competent campaign.
That all sounds right but you know perfectly well Thomas will suffer no consequences for this whatever.
cervantes@3: “Thomas will suffer no consequences for this whatever.”
Back in 1969, Abe Fortas had the good grace (and was under severe pressure) to resign. I just don’t see Thomas doing that at all. And I don’t see this House impeaching him, or the Senate convicting him. So I suspect he’s just going to sit tight and ignore it all.
Now, from what I’ve read, he has actually violated the law here. So, in addition to wondering about a President presidenting from jail, we can now wonder about a Supreme Court Justice “justicing” from jail. But now would be a good time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on this, and while they are at it, find out where Kavanaugh’s debts went to just when he was nominated.
These people have no shame, just power.
Impeachment is a power of the US House of Representatives. Since the House primarily represents their rich and powerful benefactors, like Crow, the chances of them even investigating this matter is probably zero, much less impeach Thomas.
The Senate is the court for impeachment trials. That’s why Chump was impeached twice…Democrats controlled the House…then exonerated twice…Republicans controlled the Senate. So, the Senate Judiciary Committee can hold hearings…and should because the House version isn’t likely to do that…but they can’t impeach Thomas.
If the Justice Department investigates Crow and/or Thomas for corruption, that might force Thomas to resign but there will be howls from Republicans about using the judicial system for political ends…you know, like they’ve been doing for ages.
The DOJ won’t investigate this because Garland won’t want to seem political and possibly cause a Constitutional crisis. (The fact that the impressive corruption of, by, and for Thomas is undermining the Constitution and the rule of law is irrelevant.)
‘…white collar crime by high-ranking federal officials is going to be treated with kid gloves…’ More like he will be rewarded for it. That’s why he was appointed in the first place.
Akira MacKenzie says
The fact that dealing with a constitutional crisis would cause a constitutional crises should be irrefutable evidence that the American government is doomed to fail.
Marcus Ranum says
I remember at one conference lunch I tried to pick up the check with my corporate card and the government guys insisted on separate checks because they’d have gotten static over a gift lunch. But millions of dollars in services are ok for a supreme court justice…?
In my fantasy world, George Soros would buy a yacht and park it in the Chesapeake, then invite lawmakers and jurists to the open bar and hobnobbing session. Perhaps the yacht could be called sea lobbyist.
@8, 226 years and going. Faltering on occasion, but after exhausting every other possibility, eventually does the right thing and stumbles onward.
Meanwhile, Thomas smears excrement upon the already well tarnished reputation of all in his party that supports him and Trump, paving the way to their eventual extinction and replacement with another party. That last happened in a major way back in the 1850’s, when the Whigs were replaced by the American Party (aka; No Nothings) and after some angst, the Republican Party.
See my “does the right thing” above, we are in love with repeating mistakes with only modest permutations making modest differences and eventually, will learn from history.
The historic method and one preferred is impeachment threat, resignation or impeachment, then charging criminally if appropriate and no resignation in disgrace occurs. As was last illustrated by Nixon, who resigned with the articles of impeachment in his jacket pocket and which would’ve passed the House in a landslide had he refused to resign.
A bonus for Nixon was that it was only allowed to get out that he ordered North Korea nuked in a drunken rage after he and his wife died. His Chief of Staff quoted as, “Let’s wait until morning when he sobers up and see if he still wants to do it” and directing all further nuclear orders to go to his desk first, rather than directly to the SecDef. The “football” is only used when traveling, the rest of the time, it’d be simply done by a telephone call, verification of code of the day to prove identity, then orders given verbally.
Although, a few years back, it’d probably have been done via Twitter…
Raging Bee says
…and which would’ve passed the House in a landslide had he refused to resign.
I thought it DID pass the House, by a 2-1 margin, and he resigned shortly after (with maybe some private polling implying there would be enough Senate votes to convict him?).
Nope, Nixon was never impeached. There were polls stating that he would be and a Senate poll showed he’d be convicted.
And some verbal conversations to that effect from the leadership of both chambers of his party. Along with a statement that it would be ensured no charges would be filed by the DOJ, hence the subsequent pardon by Ford.
With Nixon, everything was a drug deal…
But there is some hope US puts sanctions on four Georgian judges over ‘significant corruption’
Raging Bee says
Thomas insists that his lawyers, or whoever is giving him advice on such things, had all assured him he didn’t have to report any of the obvious bribes he received. That tells me that either he’s lying about getting expert advice from anyone at all; or he’s getting advice from people who both support his corrupt actions, and are paid (by whom?) to tell him whatever he wants to hear and thus give him some kind of cover for his crimes.
I can well imagine how the opening, act one scene of Robert Bolt’s ‘A Man for All Seasons’ would play out, were the profile of Sir Thomas More that of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas instead:
(Voices are heard off. Now, enter, at the head of the stairs, JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS with the ambitious RICHARD RICH in tow)
THOMAS Say friendship
RICH Oh, everyone’s affable here . . .
(They both smile)
THOMAS Look, Richard, see this. (He hands hint a silver cup) Look . . . Look . . .
THOMAS But, Richard, in office they offer you all sorts of things!
(Thomas takes Rich by the arm and walks with him)
THOMAS Say friendship. . .
Oops! Didn’t catch that typo in the original transcript which should read: (He hands him a silver cup)
As an afterthought, I should have named the updated version: ‘A Man for All Sellouts’.
Minor correction: ‘Know Nothings’, not ‘No Nothings.’
Major correction: ‘226 years and going. Faltering on occasion, but after exhausting every other possibility, eventually does the right thing and stumbles onward.’ Not true. The US has never stumbled into ‘eventually’ doing the right thing on race relations, wealth inequality, environmental protection, vote suppression, foreign policy, and many other. It’s not that the US has never done the right thing and there are many examples of it evolving in good ways, but for every success there are dozens of counterexamples, and in some cases such as gun control we can see that the US has gone way, way backwards even since the 1980s. I would even argue that due to rampant political and media corruption, gun laws in the US are worse today than they have ever been in the nation’s history (see this article on the history of American gun control laws). This is not the mark of a country fumbling towards the right thing.
chrislawson, thanks. My dyslexia must’ve been acting up.
But, beware of the Nirvana fallacy. Progress is always incremental, not instantaneous perfection. Hence, like everything, a work in progress and occasional regressions are to be expected, stasis in some areas and glacial progress overall. But, if the US has never done the right thing, slavery still exists, gays cannot have any kind of open relationship, women may not vote or own property and indeed, must be accompanied by a male member of her family when traveling. Just for a few counterexamples.
Current problems, media and political corruption under a veneer of superpac “donations”, regulatory capture being current top problems. The latter, easier to address, but those “donations” block political and regulatory reform until the populace tires of such blatant corruption and that requires they actually learn about them and believe what is going on. The mess with the press, breaking up monopolies works, but see political corruption issues and frankly, one of the few areas where the free market works, as when the populace tires of bullshit, they stop buying bullshit media and go with truthful media.
My press sources tend toward CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera for my short list, there are assorted other sources, national and international.
chrislawson@18 specifically said: ” It’s not that the US has never done the right thing and there are many examples of it evolving in good ways”. As for the Republicans being replaced, there was a considerable amount of party change in the period from 1789-1865, effectively none in the period since, which is more than twice as long. Yes, there are minor parties such as the Libertarians and Greens, but the Republicans and Democrats are so dug in to the de facto constitution that it will be extremely hard to displace one of them, particularly given the partisan selection of judges and of redistricting, and the massive funding of both by oligarchs. In that period they have managed to switch positions on the left-right spectrum (although of course both belong to the right in international terms) while successfully preventing any third party rising to more than marginal significance. Only if one or other actually splits does a change look feasible – and if either party did so, it would hand power to the other for decades. If a split was going to happen, surely Trump would have provoked one in the Republicans by now.
Make impeachment an election promise that would gain votes.
@ ^ DanDare … Also impeach because it is necessary for safeguarding Democracy and ethically the right thing to do because Thomas and the other traitor SCOTUS Justices gained and hold their offices under literal false pretences having lied about Roe Vs Wade and likely more.
@ 20 KG
the Republicans and Democrats are so dug in to the de facto constitution that it will be extremely hard to displace one of them,
As an outsider, I remain totally confused by how official the two major parties in the USA are. Apparently, one can officially! register with the state as a Democrat or Republican. Why would a government body, which I would have thought should have no interest in parties, spent money and resources identifying the members of two parties?
Does the US Constitution permit a candidate from another party to become president? /sarc