Watchdog Group Files Formal Complaints To Disbar And Prosecute Clarence Thomas For 20 Years Of False Statements, Financial Conflicts Of Interest, And Using His Decisions On The Supreme Court To Enrich His Wife
Pressure Building On Department Of Justice To Take Action
Washington, D.C.– Yesterday, February 8, 2011, ProtectOurElections.org filed two formal complaints against Justice Clarence Thomas for falsifying 20 years of financial disclosure statements, engaging in financial conflicts of interests, and using his decisions on the Supreme Court to enrich his wife. The first complaint, filed with the Washington D.C. Bar Disciplinary Committee, seeks Justice Thomas’ disbarment. It has 19 exhibits and can be viewed at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Clarence_Thomas_Bar_Complaint.pdf.
The group’s attorney and spokesman Kevin Zeese wrote in the Bar Complaint, “Justice Thomas violated the Rules of Professional Conduct — he committed crimes that carry serious jail time if prosecuted, he acted in a untrustworthy manner, his conduct involved dishonesty, deceit and misrepresentation, and he engaged in conduct that seriously interfered with the administration of justice.”
The second complaint, filed with the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section, seeks criminal prosecution for Justice Thomas’ conduct. It can be viewed at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Clarence_Thomas_Public_Integrity_Complaint.pdf. In that second complaint, Mr. Zeese, wrote, “Justice Thomas committed at least 20 crimes by falsifying 20 financial disclosure forms in order to hide his wife’s employers and to enrich himself and his family. The crimes he committed carry serious jail time if prosecuted, and those and similar false statement crimes have been prosecuted against many others in the past without allowance for immunity by amendment. … We urge you to treat Justice Thomas with ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ as stated above the main portico of the Supreme Court building. That means he should not get special treatment by virtue of his position but instead should be charged and prosecuted for his 20 years of false statements which benefitted him and his wife while harming those who appeared before him, the institution of the Supreme Court, and the public’s confidence in the rule of law.”
The complaints assert that Justice Thomas knowingly and willfully withheld the information about his wife’s employment in order to keep litigants from using that information to ask that he be disqualified from their cases for bias and conflict of interest. Virginia Thomas worked for the conservative Heritage Foundation earning at least $600,000, which Justice Thomas denied on his disclosure forms. The Heritage Foundation benefitted from Justice Thomas’ decisions, including the controversial Citizens United decision, which allowed organizations such as the Heritage Foundation to raise unlimited funds to help conservative candidates. In the wake of that decision, Mrs. Thomas launched her own organization, Liberty Central, and raised over $550,000 in secret money. She then supposedly left that organization in November 2010 following a scandal involving an inappropriate telephone call to Anita Hill, only to start another organization called Liberty Consulting Inc. within the past month.
On February 7, 2011, staff from ProtectOurElections.org tried to interview Mrs. Thomas at the office suite address listed on her Liberty Consulting website but it turned out to be a UPS Store with “Suite 302” being a mailbox. That mailbox is the same address listed on her Liberty Central IRS 990 form. ProtectOurElections.org posted a video on YouTube about the encounter showing UPS Store staff asking them to leave when they began inquiring about Mrs. Thomas’ office. The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsx6ot4I1iQ.
The two complaints about Justice Thomas’ conduct have added pressure on the Department of Justice to act quickly to deal with this growing scandal. Just yesterday, Common Cause members flooded the DOJ switchboard demanding that Attorney General Holder meet with Common Cause to discuss vacating the Citizens United decision because of the conflict of interest. http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4741359 Today, AlterNet reporter Nancy Goldstein reported that Justice Thomas is breaking the law while his wife shills for conservatives. http://www.alternet.org/news/149833/why_does_clarence_thomas_get_away_with_breaking_the_law,_as_his_wife_shills_for_wealthy_right-wingers
And thousands of citizens have signed the two petitions on www.ProtectOurElections.org <http://www.ProtectOurElections.org> <http://www.ProtectOurElections.org> asking the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Justice Thomas http://www.velvetrevolution.us/petitions/pnum1067.php and the Department of Justice to prosecute him. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/prosecute_clarence_thomas/
“Justice Thomas must be held accountable because no one, especially a Supreme Court justice, is above the law,” said Mr. Zeese. “Over the past several weeks, we have seen people rise up in the Middle East because those in power corruptly used their positions to enrich themselves, their wives and families. But our country is supposed to be different and based on the rule of law and equal justice. Therefore, we are insisting that all the tools available to deal with corruption by Justice Thomas be used to root out that corruption. The Justice Department must act now.”