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Monday, May 27, 2024

Of Course Clarence Thomas Was Getting Cozy With Koch Donors

Of Course Clarence Thomas Was Getting Cozy With Koch Donors

And there’s a case coming up where that coziness could be quite relevant.

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

The good folks at ProPublica have produced another chapter in their ongoing epic, Clarence Thomas: Justice For Hire. This week’s Special Guest Stars: The Koch Brothers. At this point, it’s a wonder Chief Justice John Roberts can even get into his office, what with all the evidence piled up on his doorstep. In this regard, and at this point, the Supreme Court is very much like the home of people who go on a lengthy vacation and forget to stop the mail and the newspapers. They get home and discover that they can’t open the front door, and that the mail and newspaper had been clear signals to burglars and thieves that here was an easy target.

“During the summit, the justice went to a private dinner for the network’s donors. Thomas has attended Koch donor events at least twice over the years, according to interviews with three former network employees and one major donor. The justice was brought in to speak, staffers said, in the hopes that such access would encourage donors to continue giving. That puts Thomas in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term. Thomas never reported the 2018 flight to Palm Springs on his annual financial disclosure form, an apparent violation of federal law requiring justices to report most gifts. A Koch network spokesperson said the network did not pay for the private jet. Since Thomas didn’t disclose it, it’s not clear who did pay.

“Thomas has attended at least one of the dinners for top-tier donors, according to a donor who attended and a former high-level network staffer. “These donors found it fascinating,” said another former senior employee, recounting a Thomas appearance at one summit where the justice discussed his judicial philosophy. “Donors want to feel special. They want to feel on the inside.” A former fundraising staffer for the Koch network said the organization’s relationship with Thomas was considered a valuable asset: “Offering a high-level donor the experience of meeting with someone like that — that’s huge.”

More from the Esquire article here >

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