WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Democratic lawmakers are calling for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to step down after an investigation revealed he accepted lavish trips and was involved in real estate deals with a Republican megadonor.
Justice Thomas said these actions were not improper or unethical, however lawmakers such as Rep. Hank Johnson say the justice abused his position on the high court.
Congressman Johnson pointed to the investigations showing Thomas went on lavish vacations and yachts paid for by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow.
“To live like an out-of-control billionaire baller…Justice Thomas has been brazenly corrupted and compromised by Republican dark money,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) said.
Crow’s firm also reportedly purchased properties from and for the Thomas family and Justice Thomas didn’t disclose any of it.
Democratic Illinois Senator Richard Durbin say he’s exploring what action Congress can take to investigate and possibly update ethics laws for federal judges.
“Clarence Thomas’ conduct is absolutely unacceptable from an ethical basis,” Sen. Durbin said.
Additionally, Durbin is calling on Chief Justice John Roberts.
“To restore the integrity and reputation of the court they have to do something. An investigation, followed by a change in the approach on ethics,” Durbin added.
Republican lawmakers, like Senators Josh Hawley and Rick Scott, are defending Justice Thomas and dismiss calls for him to step down.
“I just have a hard time believing that he hasn’t complied with the law,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said.
Florida Senator Scott added, “he wants to do the right thing, he’s very transparent, he’ll do the right thing.”
In an early April statement, Justice Thomas said lawyers advised him he didn’t need to disclose the luxury trips.