Fox News analyst — and friend of Clarence Thomas — calls for investigation into controversy-plagued Supreme Court justice
- Juan Williams called for his friend, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to be investigated.
- Williams’ op-ed in The Hill this week comes amid a spate of corruption allegations against the justice.
- “The facts now show Thomas has damaged the court,” Williams wrote.
Juan Williams, a political analyst at Fox News, as well as a decades-long friend to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, expressed his support f0r an investigation into the conservative justice following a recent spate of corruption allegations.
Thomas is facing renewed scrutiny following the revelation last week that the he sold his childhood home to GOP mega-donor Harlan Crow — and never disclosed the sale.
The ProPublica report came days after the outlet first reported that Thomas has been accepting and failing to disclose several luxury vacations from Crow for years. While Thomas defended the undisclosed trips by citing an ill-defined “personal hospitality” exemption included in disclosure requirements, the real estate revelation has thus far been harder to explain away.
CNN reported on Monday that Thomas plans to amend his financial disclosure forms to accurately reflect the real estate deal, but four ethics law experts told ProPublica last week that the justice likely violated a federal disclosure law that was enacted in the wake of Watergate, sparking public pressure for an official investigation into Thomas’ financial dealings, as well as growing calls for his resignation and impeachment.
In a Monday column for The Hill, Williams echoed such appeals, arguing that if true, the recent reports justify a probe into Thomas’ business dealings in order to assuage the public’s trust in the top court.
—Juan Williams (@TheJuanWilliams) April 17, 2023
“The real problem is that none of us can ever again get away from wondering,” Williams wrote of Thomas’ “apparent lack of transparency.”
The public’s belief in the Supreme Court’s legitimacy was already at an all-time low prior to the Thomas allegations, following a series of controversies and unpopular decisions.
In his op-ed, Williams, who is a rare liberal voice at the conservative Fox, acknowledged difficulty in writing about Thomas, his longtime friend, as he recounted a relationship between the two of 40 years that included an appearance by Thomas at his birthday party, as well as interactions with the columnist’s children.
“To me, Justice Thomas has always represented the best ideals of what black men — like the two of us — could achieve in modern America with hard work and thick skin,” Williams wrote.
“But if these recent stories are true about how he allowed himself to become captive of a far-right legal coterie, he must be sanctioned for the sake of the court’s reputation and, yes, for the good of the country,” he added.
Williams argued that Thomas’ hardline conservative rulings throughout his 31-year career on the bench fall in line with the interests of a “rich, reclusive Republican donor,” referring to Crow, who “ingratiated himself to Thomas” via fancy trips and personal favors.
Crow’s ongoing generosity perhaps pushed Thomas further toward extreme conservatism, Williams wrote, creating a bubble around the justice of right-wing activists.
“That’s why news of his hidden financial deals now overwhelms questions about his judicial rulings,” Williams wrote.
He noted that Thomas has thus far avoided any punishment for “bringing disgrace on himself, and two Supreme Court experts told Insider last week that the justice is unlikely to face any real repercussions, given the lack of oversight over the high court, which essentially governs itself.
Talk of Thomas being impeached is also a nonstarter, legal experts told Insider, given the extremely partisan political landscape.
“But the facts now show Thomas has damaged the court,” Williams wrote.