Thomas’s billionaire benefactor bent the rules to personally profit from lavish cruises

WASHINGTON, DC – New reporting today revealed that Harlan Crow, Justice Clarence Thomas’s billionaire benefactor, not only maintained a decades-long improper relationship with the Supreme Court justice while bringing business before the Court — but also personally profited from showering Thomas with lavish trips. With luxury cruises on his superyacht, Crow cut his own tax bill and, according to experts, seems to have broken tax laws while doing it.

Harlan Crow still seems to think he’s above the law. This latest tactic — lavishing a Supreme Court Justice with superyacht trips and slashing tax bills while potentially breaking a few laws — is right out of the billionaire benefactor playbook. Harlan Crow, Justice Thomas, Leonard Leo, and other key players in this Court corruption crisis may believe they exist above congressional oversight and above the law, but they don't. We need accountability and reform now."

Accountable.US senior advisor Kyle Herrig.

It’s not uncommon for the rich to deduct millions from their taxes through buying and operating jets and yachts. But Crow took the shady scheme a step further by representing his yacht company as a profit-seeking business, as the law requires. No evidence was found to support this claim — and significant evidence was found against it, leading Senate Finance Committee chair Rep. Wyden to call the arrangement a “textbook billionaire tax scam.”

After refusing Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats’ requests for critical information regarding his lavish gifts to Justice Clarence Thomas, Crow incorrectly argued in a letter last month that Congress has no authority to conduct oversight — a claim that offered little reassurance as the Supreme Court corruption crisis, which started with Crow’s relationship with Thomas, has caused public trust in the Court to plummet.

Accountable.US has repeatedly called for action in the aftermath of the unprecedented ethics issues undermining the integrity of our nation’s highest court.



back to top