AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Flanigan
Decades after baselessly smearing him as a sexual deviant and grotesquely disparaging him as an “Uncle Tom” and a “traitor,” leftists are once again targeting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. This time, the smear campaign is somehow even less convincing than their previous lines of attack.
On April 6, ProPublica, a non-profit with a history of promoting far-left radicalism, published a report accusing Thomas of “secretly accept[ing] luxury trips from a major Republican donor,” a real estate developer named Harlan Crow. By accepting these gifts, the group alleges, Thomas “appears to have violated” Supreme Court disclosure obligations by not reporting his airline travel as “gifts” from Crow.
Yet, despite leftists’ eagerness to pounce on charges of corruption against Thomas, as legal analyst Ed Whelan notes, ProPublica’s entire case rests upon “cherry-picked little-known and unnamed ‘experts’” presenting “a false and damning clarity on the matter.”
Thomas is, by his own account, a longtime friend of Crow and had been advised not to list the trips as gifts. As the Wall Street Journal reported late last week, “it seems clear that the Court’s rules at the time all of this happened did not require that gifts of personal hospitality be disclosed.” Furthermore, “ProPublica fails to make clear to readers that the U.S. Judicial Conference recently changed its rules to require more disclosure. The new rules took effect last month.”
In other words, ProPublica has no case—and they almost certainly know it.
Shortly after the allegations first surfaced, Thomas defended his actions, confirming that he and Crow had been “dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years.” Thomas continued: “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.”
Despite Thomas’s reasoned defense – as well as the acknowledgement from most serious legal figures that he has done nothing wrong – progressives have predictably doubled down on their calls for retribution.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to call for Thomas’s impeachment, claiming that Thomas’s “degree of corruption is shocking – almost cartoonish.” Never mind the fact that Ocasio-Cortez herself has a long history of far more credible corruption charges, including paying thousands in campaign cash to a Chinese foreign agent and stiffing vendors for her infamous “tax the rich dress” that has earned her a congressional ethics review.
Apparently oblivious to this blatant hypocrisy, however, other members of the so-called “Squad” followed Ocasio-Cortez’s lead. “Thomas must be impeached and SCOTUS needs a binding code of ethics,” wrote Rashida Tlaib, who was also the subject of a congressional ethics investigation for improperly paying herself from a campaign fund while she was not a candidate.
Ilhan Omar agreed with both Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, saying “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Clarence Thomas needs to be impeached.” Omar, it should be noted, has faced persistent allegations that she married her brother in order to skirt U.S. immigration law, and has faced other serious corruption charges.
In another particularly revealing tweet, Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu mused, “Is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas corrupt? I don’t know” – but then promptly concluded that Thomas “should resign” anyway “for the good of the country.”
Of course, the left has been calling for Thomas’s impeachment and resignation for years—and ProPublica’s report, even in spite of its obvious flaws, is only the latest excuse for Democrats to slander the Court’s second-ever African American justice.
From the moment Thomas took his seat on the High Court more than 30 years ago, the basis for the left’s vitriol toward him and his family has been as clear as day: Thomas didn’t conform to their vision of how a black American ought to think—and for that reason alone, the left believes he must be discredited and destroyed by any means necessary.
This rationale can also help explain the left’s persecution of Donald Trump and other figures on the right. Trump, once perceived as an ally to the cultural left, was declared a public enemy from the moment he came down the golden escalator in 2015 to announce his candidacy as a Republican.
Because Thomas, Trump, and others like them have refused to bend the knee to progressive orthodoxy and toe the line of left-wing extremism, for the left, no effort can be spared in ensuring their defeat.
The left’s latest assault on Thomas is nothing more than the latest proof that, when leftists know they can’t win on the actual facts, they will concoct their own set of “alternative facts” and abuse their positions of power to persecute their political opponents.
“This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint as a black American, as far as I’m concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks, who in any way deign to think for themselves,” Thomas said during his Senate confirmation in 1991. “And it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured, by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.”
Although it appears as though not much has changed in three decades, fortunately for us Thomas, Trump, and other conservative icons don’t appear ready to back down anytime soon.
Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, D.C.