Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) is calling for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be indicted, joining other members of the progressive “Squad” who have called for the conservative justice to be reprimanded following a bombshell report on their relationship. with a Republican Donor.
In a statement Tuesday, Bush said Thomas “has complete contempt for the law and ethics that are inconsistent with the trust placed in federal judges.”
“For these reasons, and because the federal judiciary has failed to hold Judge Thomas to account, I request that impeachment proceedings be commenced regarding Judge Thomas’s apparent violations of federal law,” he said.
ProPublica reported earlier this month that Thomas, who has held the position since 1991, went on a luxury vacation with Republican real estate developer and donor Harlan Crow. The donor paid for the trips, which have been taking place for more than two decades, according to ProPublica.
Federal law requires Supreme Court justices to file annual financial statements that include gifts, unless they are subject to certain exemptions. In a statement following the report, Thomas said he “was advised that this type of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who had no business before the Court, was not reportable.”
Days later, ProPublica reported that Thomas did not disclose a 2014 real estate deal he made with Crow. The donor reportedly purchased a series of properties in Savannah, Georgia, from Thomas, her mother, and the family of her late brother for $133,363. On Monday, CNN reported that Thomas plans to amend his financial disclosure forms to reveal the real estate deal.
And The Washington Post reported that Thomas reported that his family received rental income from a real estate company launched by his wife and family that hasn’t been around since 2006.
The revelations about Thomas angered court watchdog groups and congressional Democrats, prompting some to call for the judge’s removal, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn. ), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and now Bush.
In his statement Tuesday, Bush said Thomas “has flouted his ethical obligations and disgraced himself and the entire judiciary,” saying the recent discoveries “are just the latest in a pattern of illegal and impact that has characterized the career of Judge Thomas. ”
Ocasio-Cortez, who was among the first House Democrats to call for Thomas’ removal amid recent revelations, acknowledged in an interview with CNN that it is “very difficult” to see a path where Thomas is impeached for a House controlled by Republicans.
But Bush nonetheless wants the chamber to go ahead with impeachment. And if that doesn’t work, he asked the Judicial Conference of the United States to refer Thomas to the attorney general.
“History will judge how Congress responded during this crisis in our federal judiciary. House Republicans need to move forward with impeachment proceedings,” he said. “But if they continue to choose not to act, the Judicial Conference of the United States should immediately exercise its authority and refer Judge Thomas to the Attorney General for further action.”
In addition to impeachment, Bush called on Congress Tuesday to pass Supreme Court ethics reform, expand the court, institute term limits “and take other steps to rein in this dangerous, unaccountable, and undemocratic institution.”
“Holding judges to account for their behavior is a matter of life and death for our communities. They wield enormous power, and the current hands-off approach in the judiciary has only emboldened lawless, corrupt, far-right judges to strip us of our rights and make our lives worse,” he added.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.