(ConservativeInsider.org) – A U.S. Senate panel led by Democrats approved subpoenas for prominent conservatives Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow. This move is part of an ethics investigation triggered by reports of undisclosed financial support provided to certain conservative Supreme Court justices.
The Judiciary Committee voted to issue subpoenas for Leonard Leo, a legal activist who played a key role in creating former President Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees, and Harlan Crow, a billionaire Republican donor supporting conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.
Following the Democrats’ votes, Republican senators left the heated committee meeting in protest. Later, some Republicans raised concerns about the vote’s legitimacy, accusing Democrats of breaking procedural rules.
Republican Senator John Kennedy, a committee member, stated after the vote that the subpoena was clearly not legal.
The chairman of the panel, Senator Dick Durbin, explained that subpoenas were necessary because Crow and Leo had refused for months to provide the requested information willingly. This information includes detailed lists of all gifts, transportation, and lodging offered to any Supreme Court justice.
Durbin criticized a new code of conduct announced by the court on Nov. 13 and assured that the committee’s ethics investigation will continue.
The committee vote authorized Durbin to issue the subpoenas unilaterally, as mentioned by a Democratic committee staffer.
If the recipients of the subpoenas do not comply, Democrats would need 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to take legal action, requiring support from Republicans. Alternatively, Democrats can involve the U.S. Justice Department, which might decide to start criminal contempt proceedings against the individuals who received the subpoenas.
ProPublica reported this year that Justice Clarence Thomas did not disclose real estate transactions and luxury trips involving Harlan Crow. The report also revealed that Leo was involved in organizing a luxury fishing trip in Alaska attended by Justice Samuel Alito. Notably, all three justices, including Alito, were appointed by Trump from lists of candidates that Leo played a key role in drafting.
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