The Senate Judiciary Committee abruptly adjourned a hearing set to issue subpoenas related to the Supreme Court ethics investigation into Associate Justice Clarence Thomas after Republicans proposed several counter-subpoenas.
Thomas has faced public scrutiny and attention from Senate Democrats following multiple investigative reports by ProPublica, which detail his close ties with real-estate billionaire Harlan Crow and suggest potential improper influence from these connections.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin had planned a vote on Thursday to subpoena Crow and Federalist Society co-chairman Leonard Leo, a notable conservative who advised the Trump administration on judicial nominations. However, the hearing was abruptly adjourned as Republicans indicated they would push for votes on various contentious counter-subpoenas.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the committee’s ranking member, voiced opposition, accusing Democrats of attempting to delegitimize not only Clarence Thomas but the court in general. He warned of the repercussions, stating, “You’ve opened up Pandora’s box and you’ll get a look into it. It’s not very pretty.”
Aide to Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas revealed plans for an amendment to subpoena George Soros and Alex Soros concerning their influence on the U.S. Supreme Court through the left-wing non-profit Open Society Foundations.
Graham highlighted Republican demands for information, citing concerns such as Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s book sales and parole statistics. He indicated Republicans’ intent to issue subpoenas on these topics in response to the subpoenas of Leo and Crow, cautioning that the committee’s functionality was at risk.
Following Graham’s remarks, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee outlined individuals she aimed to subpoena, starting with Sotomayor over allegations of compelling entities to buy books authored by her taxpayer-paid staff, resulting in her gaining royalties.
Blackburn also proposed a subpoena into Jeffrey Epstein’s estate for the flight logs of his private plane, given allegations of human trafficking and sexual abuse. This was to identify everyone on the plane, their travel frequency, and destinations.