1 of 2 | Justice Clarence Thomas released Thursday financial disclosure forms reporting four 2022 trips bought for him by GOP wealthy donor Harlan Crow. Thomas also reported previously undisclosed bank accounts. Photo by Eric Lee/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 31 (UPI) -- In financial disclosures released Thursday Justice Clarence Thomas reported private 2022 jet trips financed by billionaire and GOP political donor Harlan Crow. Thomas did not report the total amount that those trips cost.
Thomas reported four trips that Crow paid for that included transportation, meals and lodging in 2022. No dollar amount was listed. Private jet travel was used.
The trips were to Dallas, Texas, in February, Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 2022, Dallas again in May and Keese Mill, New York in July.
Thomas said security concerns prompted his private jet trips Crow paid for in May.
"Because of the increased security risk following the Dobbs opinion leak, the May flights were by private plane for official travel as filer's security detail recommended noncommercial travel whenever possible," Thomas wrote in his disclosure.
Thomas checked "none" in the section for reporting gifts.
Thomas said in his disclosure form that on March 14, the Judicial Conference provided new guidance saying, "transportation that substitutes for commercial transportation will no longer be considered exempt from reporting under that provision. As a result, filer will report any such trips, beginning with this filing for calendar year 2022."
A Thomas lawyer said in a statement and executive summary that there were "no willful ethics transgressions" and that prior unreported financial assets were just inadvertent reporting errors.
Crow also bought Thomas' mother's house in 2014 in Savannah, Ga., along with two other properties on the same street. Thomas reported that transaction officially in the financial disclosure released Thursday, revealing Harlan Crow paid $133,000 for all three properties.
"Filer and his wife had put between $50,000 to $75,000 into his mother's home in capital improvements over the years, and therefore, the transaction amounted to a capital loss," Thomas wrote in the disclosure.
Thomas also reported more financial assets that he said were inadvertently omitted in past financial disclosures.
He said in the disclosure the assets are "personal bank accounts and his spouse's life insurance that were inadvertently omitted from prior reports for the covered period 2017 thru 2021, mistaken name of spouse's family real estate holding, and a real estate transaction that predated the covered period."
They included bank accounts in 2019 at Congressional Federal Credit Union with combined year-end values "under $50,000" and a life insurance policy valued at "under $100,000."
In 2018 those accounts were worth "under $70,000" and in 2017 they were worth "under $10,000."
Serious ethical questions were raised about Thomas' conduct at the Supreme Court when a ProPublica report revealed Aug. 10 that Thomas routinely accepted at least 38 lavish vacations underwritten by Crow and other wealthy benefactors.
Other wealthy men who paid for Thomas luxury vacations included former Berkeshire Hathaway executive David Sokol, billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga and oil baron Paul "Tony" Novelly.
Those trips included yachts, private jets and hospitality at luxury homes and expensive sports tickets, according to ProPublica.
Senate Democrats have tried to get ethics requirements passed for the Supreme Court but have run into Republican opposition.
In July the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 to approve creating an ethical code of conduct for the Supreme Court. All Republicans on the committee opposed creating the ethics code.