Clarence Thomas's Wealthy Friend: It's a 'Political Hit Job'

Harlan Crow defends his friendship with Supreme Court justice to 'Dallas Morning News'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2023 10:40 AM CDT
Clarence Thomas's Wealthy Friend: It's a 'Political Hit Job'
Harlan Crow in a 2012 file photo.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

The other figure embroiled in a series of negative stories about Clarence Thomas is speaking up to defend his relationship with the Supreme Court justice. Real estate magnate Harlan Crow tells the Dallas Morning News in a lengthy interview that he and Thomas are the victims of a "political hit job" from liberals. He says their friendship is just that, a friendship with no quid pro quo. The outlet ProPublica has reported that Crow has funded luxe vacations for Thomas for about 20 years and that Crow bought the home of Thomas' mother in Savannah, Georgia. The gist of the allegations is that Thomas hasn't been forthright on financial disclosure forms. (When the story about the vacations came out, Thomas disputed that he failed to report things properly.)

  • "A lot of people that have opinions about this seem to think that there's something wrong with this friendship," says Crow. "You know, it's possible that people are just really friends. It blows my mind that people assume that because Clarence Thomas has friends, that those friends have an angle."
  • For example, Crow says he's "pro-choice," unlike Thomas. "Do you think I would try to influence him about my point of view on that matter? No, of course not. That's insane," he says. "We have different points of view on that and probably other issues." They talk about what friends talk about, he says, especially their kids and dogs.

  • Would they be friends if Thomas weren't on the Supreme Court? "It's an interesting, good question," says Crow. "I don't know how to answer that. Maybe not. Maybe yes. I don't know." Talking about relationships in general, he said at one point: "Every single relationship—a baby's relationship to his mom—has some kind of reciprocity."
  • Read the full interview for much more: Crow criticizes ProPublica as biased, while the organization refutes that and invites Crow to dispute any of its reporting. Crow also defends his collection of artifacts that include Nazi and communist items. "Yes, I have things from bad guys," he says, but he sees his collection as a museum of sorts, a way to remember the lessons of evil.
  • Another story: Elsewhere, the Washington Post has another story about Thomas, alleging that he has reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental income from a real estate firm that hasn't existed since 2006. The story acknowledges it may be a "paperwork error," but it asserts that it fits a pattern of Thomas being careless with financial disclosure forms.
  • A defense: In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, James Taranto comes to Thomas' defense in detail on the allegations that he failed to report the sale of his mother's home to Crow: "My review of Justice Thomas' disclosures and other documents convinces me that any failure to disclose was an honest mistake."
(More Harlan Crow stories.)

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