Brad Blog: The ‘Judicial Insider Trading’ of Justice Clarence Thomas

Brad interviews watchdog attorney Kevin Zeese on KPFK…

June 8, 2011- He had inappropriate sexual entanglements with a number of women and lied about it repeatedly to the American people. Yet nobody — save for one Colorado law school prof — seems to be calling for Justice Clarence Thomas' resignation for some reason.

That, even though Thomas, unlike Rep. Anthony Weiner, appears to have actually, and flagrantly, and repeatedly, broken the law.

As we reported in January, Thomas appears to have "knowingly and willfully" filed falsified Financial Disclosure Forms which withheld disclosure of nearly $700,000 his wife received from the rightwing Heritage Foundation for the better part of the last 20 years. Only once it was pointed out publicly this year did Thomas bother to file "self-initiated amendments" to the forms he had signed just above the legal warning in bold and all caps which reads: "NOTE: ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FALSIFIES OR FAILS TO FILE THIS REPORT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS (5 U.S.C. app. § 104)"

While there has been little indication that law enforcement is actually investigating the crimes of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice (which, as we pointed out in January, are punishable by up to $50,000 and/or 1 year in jail for each instance of falsification), last Friday when Thomas' Financial Disclosure Form for 2010 [PDF] was released, the matter appears to have gotten shadier still, leading at least one government watchdog organization to describe what Thomas and his wife Virginia "Ginni" Thomas may be been doing as "Judicial Insider Trading."

Connecting the dots, it would seem the couple made huge profits from Thomas' participation and insider knowledge of last year's Citizens United ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court, as we'll show you below.

While Barack Obama's DoJ seems to be looking the other way, there was one person in Congress trying to bring attention to this issue last week with his ConflictedClarence.com website: Rep. Anthony Weiner…

For some reason or another, Weiner has been distracted of late, so I was happy to pick up the ball today and cover the new Thomas disclosures on our radio show on L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate, KPFK today. The audio from the show is below. But here are a few quick details, as promised.

Before posting the timeline, one very important point that hasn't received nearly enough attention: during Thomas' contentious confirmation hearings in 1991, he received a huge boost when an outside organization ran $100,000 worth of television commercials attacking those Senators who were threatening to vote against Thomas' confirmation. That organization? A newly formed group called Citizens United.

Twenty years later, and without either Thomas disclosing it, or anyone in the media connecting the dots, Thomas decided in favor of the group in the now-infamous Citizens United v. FEC case, which has allowed a tsunami of corporate money into our political and electoral system.

It was that decision that allowed corporations to pour virtually unlimited money into 501(c)(4) non-profits that could, in turn, use the money to affect elections with millions of dollars in campaign ads, etc.

Ginni Thomas created one of those 501(c)(4) organizations just after oral arguments were argued before her husband in the Citizens United case, and somehow managed to raise some $550,000 in about two months' time before the end of 2009.

Here, courtesy of Velvet Revolution's ProtectOurElections.org campaign:

Sept 9, 2009: Citizens United argued.
Nov 6, 2009: Virginia Thomas launches her new Liberty Central 501(c)(4) organization, which raises 550K in 2009.
Jan 21, 2010: Citizens United decided.
March 15, 2010: Virginia Thomas announces that Liberty Central would "accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court."
November 14, 2010: Liberty Central announces that Virginia Thomas would be leaving the organization.
November 16, 2010: Liberty Consulting incorporated in the state of Virginia.
February 4, 2011: Politico reports that Virginia Thomas had launched Liberty Consulting.
February 8, 2011: ProtectOurElections.org releases its expose of Liberty Consulting
February 12, 2011: Liberty Consulting website is deleted http://libertyinc.co/
February 23, 2011: ProtectOurElections.org files a formal bar complaint against Clarence Thomas requesting that he be disbarred on various grounds.

Note the date on which Ginni launched her 501(c)(4), Liberty Central, Inc., and note how quickly she was able to raise half a million dollars from it. And that was even before she told the LA Times that the group would "accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court." 

FULL STORY HERE:


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