Los Angeles Politics

Justice Clarence Thomas says he will disclose free trips

Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that in the future, he will disclose free travel that he has taken with Harlan Crow, a prominent Republican donor.

Responding to ProPublica’s report on his lavish trips paid for by Crow, Thomas said he had understood that “this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends” who had no business before the court was exempted from disclosure requirements.

Last month, however, the federal judiciary adopted new rules that said private jet travel paid for by others must be disclosed.

Thomas said he will follow this guidance in the future.

“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years,” Thomas said in a statement. “As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them. 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. I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines. These guidelines are now being changed, as the committee of the Judicial Conference responsible for financial disclosure for the entire federal judiciary just this past month announced new guidance. And, it is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future.”

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