Inside the consulting firm run by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
(L to R) Clarence Thomas, Associate Supreme Court Justice and Virginia Thomas are seen arriving at Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, on October 21, 2021.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Virginia Ginni Thomas is the owner of a small-known consultancy company, which some watchdog groups believe could cause yet another conflict for Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court Justice).
Ginni Thomas rose to national fame after text messages surfaced last monthShe prodded the former president, Donald Trump’sMark Meadows was the then-chief of staff. He attempted to stop the election by trying to overturn it in 2020. These messages were received callsTop Democrats call for Clarence Thomas’s exclusion from reviewing cases relating to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at Capitol Hill. The Capitol Hill lawmakers have also called for the creation of a formal Supreme Court. code of ethics.According to reports, the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6’s events is seeking an interviewGinni Tom.
Requests for comments were not returned by a spokeswoman from the Supreme Court. Ginni Thomas was not able to be reached via an email address listed on her website. After Meadows’ recent text messages, the website seems to have disappeared.
The company Liberty Consulting which was listed as an assets on the disclosures of her husband at Supreme Court is very little known. CNBC managed to locate some conservative clients of hers by checking Virginia tax records, Virginia business records and Federal Election Commission filings. Interviews with those who know her work helped CNBC find them. However, CNBC’s watchdogs warn that such records may not reveal all of her clients or whether they have any connections to the cases in front of the court. This raises more calls for transparency.
Richard Painter from the George W. Bush Administration was chief White House Ethics lawyer. He said, in recent telephone interviews, that it is “very problematic”. The Supreme Court rules don’t require spouses to publicly disclose how much they earn or if they are working with anyone that could have a stake in a Supreme Court case — which could create a conflict for her husband and force him to recuse himself from certain cases, Painter said.
Kedric Paayne, Campaign Legal Center’s General Counsel, stated that any financial interest related to a justice’s wife could result in the court recusing the judge.
The law clearly states that any justice who is unable to impartially rule on a case must withdraw from it. CNBC reported that any case involving financial or significant interests for a justice’s spouse raises red flags and may be subject to the recusal obligation. Clarence Thomas, his son Clarence, has recused himself from court 54 times, with 17 exceptions to prevent any conflict of interest. the Huffington Post.
Ginni THOMAS, in an interview with Washington Free Beacon recently, denied that there were any conflict of interest. We have separate careers and we each have our opinions and ideas. Clarence is not open to discussing his work with me and I am not involved in his work,” Clarence told The Observer recently. publication. In that interview, she mentioned her work at Liberty Consulting but did not reveal her clients.
Still, Democrats, even the Senate Majority leader, are strong. Chuck SchumerThey want to continue with creatingA code of ethics for Supreme Court justices, which could contain more detailed disclosure requirements.
Ginni’s case reveals that Ginni Thomas only receives benefits and a salary through her company. However, it also records the firm’s book value.
Liberty Consulting, located in a suburban Virginia strip mall, has few clients. According to CNBC researchers and Documented watchdog Documented, the Center for Security Policy was founded in 2007 by a conservative activist who is accused of antisemitic rhetoric. The Center for Security Policy became a non-descript political action committee called FedUp PAC. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, this political action committee supported Roy Moore’s failed bid for Alabama Senate. Moore was charged with sexual misconduct, but he has since denied any wrongdoing.
Frank Gaffney Jr. was the founder of The Center for Security Policy. A former Reagan administration Defense Official, Gaffney has been accused by Anti-Defamation League for “a few anti-Muslim conspiracy ideas”. Gaffney and Center for Security Policy are two of the advocates that filed an amicusBrief with the Supreme Court supporting Trump’s travel ban. According to tax disclosure reports for 2017, 2017 and 2018, Liberty Consulting was paid more than $200,000 by the center over two years. First, the work of the firm was for the Center for Security Policy. reportedThe New Yorker
A person with knowledge of the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the subject, said Thomas was also believed to have previously worked for firms tied to conservative judge Leonard Leo. Ginni Thomas counts LeoAccording to The Washington Post. According to tax disclosures, Leo was previously a director of Liberty Central, a Ginni-led conservative nonprofit. Ginni stated that she wanted it to be larger than the tea party, and was criticizing Obama’s plans, according to the Post.
A 990 tax filing shows that Ginni Tom made $120,000 more as Liberty Central CEO in 2010. Since then, the nonprofit was closed. Clarence Thomas amongThe Supreme Court group that dissented from 2012’s majority opinion which upheld Obama’s health insurance law, Affordable Care Act as constitutional. He later sidedThe majority of the members voted to keep the law in place against any Republican challenge by 2021.
Leo is involved in helping to shape the Supreme Court as it exists today. advisingTrump on the best person to pick for the Supreme Court. Trump’s Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were supported by Leo and allies during Senate battles for their nominations. The Daily Beast reportedCRC Advisors (Leo’s business) has been assigned the responsibility of supporting a documentary about Clarence Thomas.
Leo’s close allies ran outside groups that supported Trump’s nominations. They have taken aim at the President ever since. Joe Biden’sCourt picks includingJudge Ketanji brown Jackson. Leo-tied groups are similar to their progressive counterparts. They’re known as dark money nonprofits that don’t disclose their donors. Leo has recently created85 Fund is one part of his large network of organizations, which seek to influence policy and judicial nominations.
FedUp PAC was chaired conservative political ad veteran Richard Viguerie. Liberty Consulting received $5,000 from the FedUp PAC during the 2018 electoral cycle. It paid Liberty Consulting for the video production it described on its filing. Liberty Consulting is listed as the name, and Ginni Tom’s address on the Federal Election Commission disclosure. Later, the PAC backed Trump in the 2020 election cycle and spent more than $100,000 to support the commander-in-chief. Federal campaign disclosure data shows that Liberty Consulting wasn’t paid by the PAC for work done during this election cycle.
Bob Mills is the director of the super PAC. He didn’t recall the specific work Liberty Consulting did for the organisation when he was first reached by CNBC.
Ginni Thomas is the LinkedIn profile of Ginni Thomas. It states that she has been working since 2010 with Liberty Consulting as founder and president. Liberty Consulting helps citizens, leaders, and non-profits succeed in protecting the principles which have made America an outstanding nation. — offer strategic advice, build coalitions, connect people and projects (this is my passion and joy!).” Thomas states on her webpage that she is not a lobbyist although a Virginia state records shows that Liberty Lobby was the name of the company once.
CNBC’s Beth Rotman told CNBC she is the national director of money and politics at Common Cause. The new ethics laws for Supreme Court justices will require them to share more information about their spouses’ consulting contracts.
For financial disclosures to have any meaning, they must be strong. This means that the information should contain consulting agreements. Rotman stated in an email that justices list financial information when they complete annual reports. This is because it does not provide a full view of the spouse’s financial relationships. To ensure meaningful disclosure, it is important that all rules include information about the source and value of consulting contracts between spouses.
Leo and the representatives of most of these groups did not reply to our requests for comment. An official from the Jan.6 House Select Committee did not respond to requests for comment.
Although it is not clear how much Ginni Thomas made at the consultancy firm, Liberty Consulting seemed to have seen a surge in business during Trump’s win in 2016.
Clarence Thomas’ 2014 financial disclosure reports reveal that Clarence Thomas’ cash market value for the firm was worth as high as $15,000.
According to public disclosures, however, the listed book value of the firm increased in 2015 and subsequent years. Thomas’ 2015 disclosure report shows the firm had a value of between $15,001 to $50,000. The business remained at this value until 2019, when it appears that the company had its best year yet, with a book worth of $100,001 to $250,000
Trump impeached that year by the Democratic-led House of Representatives for pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into launching a probe into the U.S. president’s political opponents in the buildup to the 2020 election. Trump later became president. acquittedThe Senate was at that time controlled by Republicans. Trump said that Zelenskyy’s call was perfect and denied any wrongdoing.
In 2020, her company’s worth dropped to $15,001 and $50,000, which was the year Trump lost his White House bid.