Chris Hayes Asks ‘Just How Much Money Has Secretly Flowed’ to Clarence Thomas (Video)
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes spent most of Friday’s episode of his show talking about the latest damning development in the continuing scandal involving Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
And the “All In” host had one big question looming over the whole discussion: “Just how much money has secretly flowed from right-wing donors and interests into the household of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?”
For the last several weeks, Thomas has been beset by a steadily growing number of allegations of corruption. It started with the revelation that he has received lavishly expensive gifts from right wing billionaire Harlan Crow and only grew from there. The latest developments though are particularly serious.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that right wing judicial activist Leonard Leo, former vice president of the conservative Federalist Society, had paid Ginni Thomas, Clarence Thomas’ wife, tens of thousands of dollars for unspecified consulting back in 2012. In addition, Leo directed that Ginni Thomas’ name be omitted from any records. Leo has admitted to the payments but denies any ill intent behind them.
As Hayes explained, as a member of the Federalist Society, Leo has spent decades attempting to recruit conservative lawyers and then get them placed in the judiciary — in fact, all six members of the current Republican majority on the court are either current or former Federalist Society members.
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“Leo is to my mind the single most influential private citizen in the country when it comes to America’s courts,” Hayes said.
Hayes argued that Leo’s goal has been to not only recruit conservative justices, but also make sure they remain committed to the conservative movement once they become judges. Hayes drew a connection between that and the reported $100,000 Leo funneled to Ginni Thomas, according to the Washington Post.
“In an effort to be fair here, there is nothing inherently wrong with one conservative organization sending money to another conservative organization,” Hayes said. “But here’s the thing: I don’t think it normally goes down like this when the transaction is on the up and up.”
Hayes noted how Leo directed these payments through “a weird nonprofit that he is not a part of,” and asked “how is he in a position to direct thousands of dollars to this group to anyone?”
“The long and short of it is that a very influential conservative activist leisurely, always quietly directing money to a consulting firm run by the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice,” adding, “it really sounds like he didn’t want anyone to know about it.”
Hayes went on to describe other suspicious things about this money, and concluded the segment by asking “who is putting money in the pockets of our judges?”
Watch the clip below:
.@chrislhayes: “We begin tonight with a question: just how much money has secretly flowed from right-wing donors and interests into the household of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?” pic.twitter.com/4QfiiMatfK
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) May 6, 2023
The story of the money paid secretly to Ginni Thomas follows a ProPublica report which showed Harlan Crow paid school tuition for a close relative of Thomas.