MAGA kingpin Leonard Leo involved in unprecedented gifting scheme

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, it was revealed that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has secretly accepted lavish luxury travel and gifts for decades from billionaire Republican megadonor Harlan Crow without disclosure, an apparent repeat violation of ethics law. Conservative kingpin Leonard Leo is featured prominently alongside Thomas and Crow in a painting picturing a scene from one of their luxurious trips to Crow’s private lakeside resort, the three deep in conversation with other conservative operatives. The painting is permanently displayed at Crow’s resort, where Thomas has vacationed virtually every summer for the past two decades.

If there’s an unprecedented attempt to influence the Supreme Court, no doubt Leonard Leo can be found in the center of it. Leo has been the central architect in the right-wing campaign to capture the Supreme Court and now continues to use shady, corrupt tactics to influence those same Justices. This is just the latest in Leo’s decades-long plan to push his dangerous, extreme agenda at the highest levels.”

Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig.

ProPublica highlights:

“The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court…These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas’ financial disclosures. His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said.”

“‘It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” said Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton. When she was on the bench, Gertner said, she was so cautious about appearances that she wouldn’t mention her title when making dinner reservations: “It was a question of not wanting to use the office for anything other than what it was intended.’”

“Crow’s access to the justice extends to anyone the businessman chooses to invite along. Thomas’ frequent vacations at Topridge have brought him into contact with corporate executives and political activists…During just one trip in July 2017, Thomas’ fellow guests included executives at Verizon and PricewaterhouseCoopers, major Republican donors and one of the leaders of the American Enterprise Institute, a pro-business conservative think tank, according to records reviewed by ProPublica. The painting of Thomas at Topridge shows him in conversation with Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society leader regarded as an architect of the Supreme Court’s recent turn to the right.”

Accountable.US recently launched its “Mr. MAGA” campaign to expose Leonard Leo’s foundational role in the MAGA movement — from his time in Trump’s inner circle to his efforts to undermine democracy and his personal role in overturning Roe v. Wade. Learn more about Leo’s extremist agenda and the Mr. MAGA campaign at


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