An investigation by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee uncovered a loan to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by a Republican donor that appears to have been never paid back.
According to a memo from Senate Finance Committee Democrats:
The Democratic staff of the Senate Committee on Finance reviewed loan documentation indicating that Justice Clarence Thomas received a $267,230.00 loan from Tony Welters, which Thomas used to purchase a luxury motorcoach. While additional documents pertaining to the loan agreement may exist, documents reviewed by Democratic staff suggest that Justice Thomas did not repay a significant portion of the loan principal. In fact, none of the documents reviewed by Committee staff indicated that Thomas ever made payments to Welters in excess of the annual interest on the loan.
Forgiveness of the loan results in a taxable event for Justice Thomas. Under tax rules, forgiveness of
the entire principal by Welters requires Justice Thomas to include up to $267,230.00 in taxable income and report the amount on his tax filings. Justice Thomas did not disclose this forgiven debt on his ethics filings, raising questions as to whether Thomas properly reported the associated income on his tax returns.
Clarence Thomas got a loan from a Republican donor 24 years ago that was worth more than his 2023 yearly salary of $227,080. Thomas’s loan is worth $493,000 in 2023 dollars. It is a sizable loan and not something that would be forgotten.
Justice Thomas has all of the red flags surrounding his financials that suggest corruption by a public official. Supreme Court justices are not above the law. It is important that Senate Democrats investigate Thomas’s relationship with Republican donors, but anyone else in the same situation would be facing a criminal investigation.
There is more than smoke around Clarence Thomas. The whole backyard is on fire, and it is past time for the Department of Justice to conduct a review and potentially open an investigation.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association