Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) has demanded that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas be impeached for allegedly violating ethics rules through his lucrative friendship with a GOP megadonor.
“It is clear that Justice Thomas holds a complete disregard for law and ethics that is incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in federal judges,” she said in a statement first acquired by POLITICO. “For these reasons, and because the federal judiciary has failed to hold Justice Thomas accountable, I am calling for impeachment proceedings to begin regarding Justice Thomas’s apparent violations of federal law.”
She also called for Congress to “take other actions to rein in this unaccountable, anti-democratic, and dangerous institution,” by passing ethics reforms at the Supreme Court, expanding the number of sitting justices, and enacting term limits.
Bush was reacting to a recent bombshell investigation from ProPublica that found the justice has received years of luxury trips from Texan billionaire Harlan Crow, whom Thomas had befriended a few years after sitting on the bench and who’s donated millions to conservative causes, without disclosing them. A follow-up published the next week revealed that Crow had also bought three properties from the justice, including the house Thomas’s mother currently lives in.
On April 7, Thomas defended their friendship and his actions.
“Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable,” he said in a statement. “I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines.”
The announcement comes nearly two weeks after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued a similar call for impeachment. “This is beyond party or partisanship,” she tweeted on April 6. “This degree of corruption is shocking—almost cartoonish. Thomas must be impeached.”
Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also called for Thomas to be impeached last year due to his wife Ginni Thomas’s right-wing activist work and her involvement in pushing election overturning efforts in 2020. .
Moderate Democrats haven’t yet called for outright impeachment, but Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters on April 6 that his committee would take unspecified action to reinforce the Supreme Court’s ethics rules.
“The highest court in the land shouldn’t have the lowest ethical standards,” the senator said.