Clarence Thomas Complains About ‘Awful’ People After His Ethics Scandals

Justice Clarence Thomas took the opportunity during a judicial conference in Alabama on Friday to criticize the “nastiness” and “lies” he’s faced following bombshell reports that conservative megadonor Harlan Crow had funded the justice’s lavish lifestyle for decades.

According to Politico, while addressing a room of judges, attorneys and other court personnel in the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference at the conference, Thomas repeatedly denounced his critics and called Washington a “hideous place.”

When asked about working in a world that appeared mean-spirted, the justice replied, “I think there’s challenges to that. We’re in a world and we — certainly my wife and I the last two or three years it’s been — just the nastiness and the lies, it’s just incredible.”

As ProPublica reported — as part of a series that won a Pulitzer Prize this week — Thomas received and failed to disclose a series of luxury gifts over two decades from Crow. The stories included the Texas billionaire businessman providing free private jet and superyacht trips to Thomas and his wife, buying a house owned by Thomas and allowing his mother to live there for free, and covering at least two years of boarding school tuition for Thomas’ grandnephew, whom the justice says he raised “as a son.”

Conservative dark money man Leonard Leo reportedly steered consulting payments to Thomas’ wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas. Leo helped assemble the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority as President Donald Trump’s judicial adviser, and runs a dark money network that works to confirm justices and helps support conservative cases at the high court.


Then there’s the RV, which Thomas mentioned Friday, when he said “in Washington, people pride themselves on being awful. It is a hideous place as far as I’m concerned.” He added: “It’s one of the reasons we like RVing.” 

Thomas’ friend loaned $267,000 to the Supreme Court justice to pay for the luxury RV and then forgave all or most of the loan.

In the wake of the scandals, the Supreme Court has adopted its first-ever code of ethics last November. However, the extremely vague language was riddled with loopholes and lacked mechanisms to enforce its codes. Upon the Court’s announcement that justices would subject themselves to the new code, the non-profit Brennan Center for Justice remarked that the “Supreme Court has been the only court in the country without a binding ethics code. Now it has one of the country’s weakest.”