True North Research Calls for Senate Investigation, House Impeachment, and Court Reform Based on Secret Luxury Gifts Taken by Justice Clarence Thomas

For Immediate Release. 

In light of the blockbuster investigation by Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott, and Alex Mierjeski in ProPublica detailing how U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas secretly accepted high-value luxurious trips on private yachts, private jets, and at private resorts from billionaire GOP donor Harlan Crow, Lisa Graves, the executive director of True North Research, issued the following statement:

“This story reveals shocking new details about the corruption of Justice Clarence Thomas through the luxurious lifestyle he and Ginni have enjoyed via secret high-value gifts of travel and vacations from a billionaire who befriended them after Thomas became a judge. This kind of dark money underwriting of their travel and of Thomas’ pet projects is simply unacceptable for any justice on the nation’s highest court, no matter which political party appointed them. 

“These revelations warrant a full congressional investigation by the U.S. Senate and illustrate the urgent need to reform the U.S. Supreme Court, which is issuing extreme decisions reversing legal precedents in ways that are aligned with the agenda of dark money billionaires like Thomas’ benefactor, Harlan Crow. If Congress were true to its role in policing judges who do not serve with ‘good behavior’ under Article III of our Constitution, it would begin an impeachment inquiry to hold Thomas accountable for how such gift-giving and gift-taking is inherently corrupting and undermines the integrity of the Supreme Court.”

Graves has an extensive knowledge and background related to judicial ethics and disclosure having served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts which oversaw the federal courts’ Financial Disclosure Office, and Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. She has been featured repeatedly on MSNBC in connection with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and other legal policy topics.

Graves and True North have researched issues relating to the U.S. Supreme Court for years, and she has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about the dark money from right-wing groups that is engulfing the Court, which is issuing radically reactionary rulings overturning decades of legal precedents, such as Roe v. Wade and more. Last year, as True North wrote about the effort of groups tied to Leonard Leo attacking the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, True North’s team uncovered a a painting commissioned by Crow of a gathering of Leo, Thomas, Crow, and two other men titled “Just 5 Friends Discussing the Law,” which we annotated here.

If you would like to speak to Lisa Graves about this issue or her extensive work on dark-money groups and right-wing efforts to capture the Supreme Court and other courts, please contact us at

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