Ocasio-Cortez calls Justice Clarence Thomas' trips a 'very serious problem'
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York reiterated on Sunday her call for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas following revelations that he didn’t disclose several luxury trips subsidized by a Republican megadonor.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” Ocasio-Cortez called for an inquiry into the matter, saying it was “the House’s responsibility to pursue that investigation in the form of impeachment.”
“I believe that we should pursue the course. And if it is Republicans that decide to protect those who are breaking the law, then they are the ones who then are responsible for that decision,” she said of the House GOP majority, which would be unlikely to pursue such an investigation. “But we should not be complicit in that.”
Ocasio-Cortez first called for Thomas’ impeachment on Twitter on Thursday following a bombshell ProPublica report that detailed his travel paid for by Republican donor Harlan Crow, which included trips on the donor’s yacht and private jet.
Thomas said Friday that he did not disclose the luxury travel because he was advised at the time “by colleagues and others in the judiciary” that he did not have to report it.
In a rare statement sent via the Supreme Court’s public information office, Thomas said that the trips he and his wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, took with the Crows were the “sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends” that he was advised did not require disclosure.
Ocasio-Cortez called the trips “a very, very serious problem” and said Chief Justice John Roberts “must now come forward and state if he allows and is allowing this kind of very serious corruption to happen on this court.”
“I think, when it comes to Justice Thomas’ statement, when he’s talking about his colleagues, and when he’s talking about who advised him to break the law, I think we need to know who those people are,” she said.
Two dozen Democratic lawmakers from both chambers sent a letter to Roberts on Friday, calling for a “swift, thorough, independent and transparent investigation” into whether ethics rules and laws were violated by Thomas’ trips.
But Ocasio-Cortez said she did not have faith in the Supreme Court to conduct an internal investigation, saying, “what we are seeing right now is a breaking of the law.”
The ProPublica report describes Thomas accepting travel hospitality from Crow that included lavish trips to Indonesia, New Zealand, California, Texas and Georgia. Some of the trips reportedly included travel on Crow’s super yacht or stays at properties owned by Crow or his company.
This story has been updated with additional information.