JUSTICE IN THE SUPREME COURT: For over a decade, Clarence Thomas stated on required financial disclosure forms that he earned substantial revenue from Ginger, Ltd., Partnership. This defunct real estate company has been closed since 2006.
This information was released just ten days after ProPublica revealed that the justice department had accepted, but not disclosed, free vacations worth tens of thousands of dollars from conservative billionaire and Nazi supporter Harlan Crow.
The millionaire also owns the house where Thomas’ mother resides; Crow acquired it from Thomas and his family before starting extensive renovations.
Thomas failed to fill out the field on financial papers that asked for the buyer’s name in any private transaction above $1,000, including real estate, to report the sale of the house. Some have questioned whether Thomas purposefully concealed his business partnership with Crow in light of the revelations.
The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Thomas had misreported hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental income from land that his wife Ginni Thomas’ parents had constructed in Nebraska, in addition to failing to disclose lavish vacations and the real estate deal involving Crow.
Thomas stated in his financial declarations that the rental income came from a real estate company called “Ginger, Ltd., Partnership.” But since its dissolution in March 2006 and the transfer of its leases for more than 200 residential lots to Ginger Holdings, LLC, that company has no longer existed.
Joanne K. Elliot, Ginni Thomas’ sister, is named as the manager of Ginger Holdings, LLC, but Ginni is not mentioned in the LLC’s state papers of incorporation.
Democrats have requested that the Judicial Conference, which makes decisions for the federal courts, refer Thomas to the attorney general’s office so that the office can look into whether the justice violated national ethics legislation in light of recent reports regarding his financial declarations.
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Democrats charged Thomas of having an “apparent pattern of noncompliance with disclosure requirements” in a letter signed by the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. They also pointed out that Thomas had previously acknowledged in 2011 that he had not accurately disclosed his wife’s salary for several years.
Thomas’s failure to admit, he claimed at the time, was “a misunderstanding of the filing instructions.” Democrats said that Thomas had “accurately filed disclosure forms regarding his spouse’s employment for as many as 10 years beginning in 1987,” but this was disputed.
In response to claims that he failed to disclose the vacations paid for by Crow, Thomas claimed he was unaware he was required to declare “this sort of personal hospitality.” Still, he added that he would adhere to the Judicial Conference’s rules in the future.