The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday abruptly adjourned a hearing that was due to issue subpoenas regarding the Supreme Court ethics investigation into Associate Justice Clarence Thomas after Republicans offered several counter-subpoenas.
Thomas has been under scrutiny from the public and Senate Democrats following several investigative reports by ProPublica, which document his close relations with real-estate billionaire Harlan Crow and suggest that he may have been improperly influenced by them.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin had scheduled a vote on Thursday to subpoena Crow and Federalist Society co-chairman Leonard Leo — a prominent conservative who advised the Trump administration on judicial nominations — to discuss Thomas, but abruptly adjourned the hearing to do so after Republicans signaled they would force votes on several controversial counter-subpoenas.
“When you offer the subpoena, there’ll be a bunch of amendments…we all oppose what you’re doing,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the committee’s ranking member. “You made this decision, here, to go after private individuals, go after the court in a way that we believe is trying to delegitimize not just Clarence Thomas, but the court in general,” he accused the Democrats, adding a warning that “you’ve opened up Pandora’s box and you’ll get a look into it. It’s not very pretty.”
“Sen. Cornyn had planned to offer an amendment to subpoena George Soros and Alex Soros for information related to their efforts to influence the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court and matters before the Court,” an aide to Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The subpoena amendment, a copy of which was viewed by the DCNF, would subpoena both Soroses, who have run the left-wing non-profit Open Society Foundations, over funds they spent to “influence the composition of the Supreme Court” or influence cases before it.
“There’s a pent-up demand on our side for information…What’s going on with [Associate Justice Sonia] Sotomayor selling her books? I want to know how 240,000 people from four countries achieved parole when the law says it should be done on an individual basis,” Graham stated, indicating that Republicans wanted to issue subpoenas on these subjects, in response to the subpoenas of Leo and Crow. “I promise you, everything that was working with the committee is now in jeopardy.”
Following Graham’s remarks, Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee spoke, listing several individuals she would seek to subpoena, beginning with Sotomayor over the allegations that her taxpayer-paid staff compelled entities to buy books she authored, the sales from which she’d gain royalties.
“This summer, what we learned was that over the years, her staff has pressured public institutions to buy her books, and these books and her book deals have earned her $4 million,” Blackburn said of Sotomayor, noting that she allegedly refused to recuse herself from two copyright infringement cases before the court regarding her book’s publisher. “So I have filed an amendment issuing a subpoena to Justice Sotomayor’s staff who’s helped to sell the books, as well as to her book publisher so we can fully understand the backstory of the deal.”
Blackburn also announced an amendment that would issue “a subpoena into Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to provide the flight logs for his private plane. Given numerous allegations of human trafficking and sexual abuse surrounding Mr. Epstein, I think it’s very important that we identify everybody that was on that plane, and how many trips they took off that plane and the destinations.”
Read the full story here.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.