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Opinion: Why is not the Home Judiciary Committee trying into crimson flags about Clarence Thomas?

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Editor’s Observe: Dean Obeidallah, a former legal professional, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s day by day program “The Dean Obeidallah Present.” Comply with him @DeanObeidallah@masto.ai. The opinions expressed on this commentary are his personal. View extra opinion on CNN.

CNN
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On Monday, the GOP-controlled Home Judiciary Committee — chaired by Donald Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan — is ready to carry a field hearing in New York Metropolis referred to as “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan.” A statement payments the listening to as an examination of how, the Judiciary Committee says, Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg’s insurance policies have “led to a rise in violent crime and a harmful neighborhood for New York Metropolis residents.”

Dean Obeidallah

In response, Bragg’s workplace slammed Jordan’s listening to as “a political stunt” whereas noting that information launched by the New York Police Division exhibits crime is down in Manhattan with respect to murders, burglaries, robberies and extra by means of April 2, in contrast with the identical interval final 12 months.

In actuality, this Jordan-led listening to isn’t about stopping crime however about defending Trump — who was lately charged by a Manhattan grand jury with 34 felonies. Trump pleaded not responsible to the prison expenses stemming from an investigation right into a hush-money fee to an grownup movie actress. The previous president is also dealing with prison probes in different jurisdictions over efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his dealing with of categorised paperwork at Mar-a-Lago.

Bragg sued Jordan and his committee final week in federal court docket, accusing the Judiciary Committee chairman of a “clear marketing campaign to intimidate and assault” his workplace for its investigation and prosecution of Trump by making calls for for confidential paperwork and testimony.

Whereas Jordan and his committee seem centered on discrediting the investigation into Trump, why aren’t they trying into two latest bombshell experiences by ProPublica that raised crimson flags about Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas’ monetary relationship with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow? In spite of everything, the Home Judiciary Committee’s website explains that it has jurisdiction over “issues regarding the administration of justice in federal courts” – for which the revelations regarding Thomas match completely.

First, we discovered in early April that Crow had offered Thomas and his spouse, Ginni, for many years with luxurious holidays together with on the donor’s yacht and private jet to faraway locations equivalent to Indonesia and New Zealand. That data was by no means revealed to the general public. (In a uncommon public assertion, Thomas responded he was suggested on the time that he didn’t need to report the journeys. The justice mentioned the rules for reporting private hospitality have modified lately. “And, it’s, in fact, my intent to comply with this steering sooner or later,” he mentioned.)

Then on Thursday, ProPublica reported that Thomas didn’t disclose a 2014 actual property deal involving the sale of three properties he and his household owned in Savannah, Georgia, to that very same GOP megadonor, Crow. Certainly one of Crow’s corporations made the purchases for $133,363, in accordance with ProPublica. A federal disclosure law handed after Watergate requires Supreme Courtroom justices and different officers to make public the small print of most actual property gross sales over $1,000.

As ProPublica detailed, the federal disclosure type Thomas filed for that 12 months included an area to report the identification of the client in any non-public transaction, however Thomas left that house clean. 4 ethics legislation consultants advised ProPublica that Thomas’ failure to report it seems to be a violation of the legislation. (Thomas didn’t reply to questions from ProPublica on its report; CNN reached out to the Supreme Courtroom and Thomas for remark.)

The Home Judiciary Committee has lengthy addressed points equivalent to these surrounding Thomas. In truth, the committee is the place investigations and the impeachment of federal judges typically start.

One latest instance got here in 2010 with Decide G. Thomas Porteous Jr.whom the committee investigated and advisable for impeachment.

The committee’s Task Force on Judicial Impeachment mentioned proof confirmed Porteous “deliberately made materials false statements and representations underneath penalty of perjury, engaged in a corrupt kickback scheme, solicited and accepted illegal presents, and deliberately misled the Senate throughout his affirmation proceedings.” The Senate later discovered Porteous responsible of four articles of impeachment and eliminated him from the bench.

But the Judiciary Committee has neither released statements nor tweets elevating alarm bells about Thomas. As an alternative, its Twitter feed is full of repeated tweets whining that C-SPAN won’t cover Monday’s New York subject listening to. Worse, the committee retweeted GOP Rep. Mary Miller’s tweet defending Thomas as being attacked “as a result of he’s a person of deep religion, who loves our nation and believes in our Structure.”

Jordan’s use of his committee to help Trump ought to shock nobody. The Home January 6 committee’s report referred to as the Ohio Republican “a significant player in President Trump’s efforts” to overturn the election. The report detailed the lawmaker’s efforts to help Trump together with on “January 2, 2021, Representative Jordan led a convention name through which he, President Trump, and different Members of Congress mentioned methods for delaying the January sixth joint session.” In consequence, the January 6 committee subpoenaed Jordan to testify — however he refused to cooperate.

In distinction with the Home panel, the Senate Judiciary Committee — headed by Democrats — introduced within the wake of the reporting on Thomas that it plans to carry a listening to “on the necessity to restore confidence within the Supreme Courtroom’s moral requirements.” Past that, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia sent a letter Friday calling for a referral of Thomas to the US legal professional common over “potential violations of the Ethics in Authorities Act 1978.”

The Home Judiciary Committee’s web site notes“The Committee on the Judiciary has been referred to as the lawyer for the Home of Representatives.” Underneath Jordan that description must be up to date to state that the Committee on the Judiciary is now “the lawyer for Donald J. Trump.” And the worst half is that the taxpayers are those paying for Jordan’s work on Trump’s behalf.



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