Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas purchased a $267,000 RV with the help of a wealthy friend.
Thomas received a loan from Anthony Welters, a former executive at UnitedHealthCare, The New York Times reported.
Welters, who is a big-time Democratic donor, would not say how much money he lent Thomas.
When he fulfilled a dream by purchasing a luxury recreational vehicle, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas received financial help from a surprising source, The New York Times reported Saturday: a healthcare executive who would go on, with his wife, to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to former President Barack Obama.
In 1999, Thomas, who was appointed to the nation’s highest court eight years earlier, paid $267,230 for a Prevost Marathon RV, according to a title for the vehicle obtained by the Times.
In the years since, Thomas has used the 40-foot behemoth to tour the country and visit luxury resorts. In remarks to the Supreme Court Historical Society, Thomas said he and his wife, Ginni — a right-wing activist who worked to overturn the 2020 election — visited 23 states in the RV just over the summer of 2018.
But Thomas has never disclosed the fact that the vehicle was financed, in part, by Anthony Welters, a former executive at UnitedHealthCare who worked alongside Thomas in the Reagan administration. Welters’ wife, Beatrice, served as an ambassador under Obama, to whom the couple donated between $200,000 and $500,000 during the 2008 presidential campaign and another $100,000 for his 2009 inauguration.
The revelation comes after reporting from ProPublica showing that Thomas has accepted gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars from another friend, Republican donor Harlan Crow.
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement to the Times, Welters said he had provided Thomas a loan so he could buy the RV. He also provided a copy of a “lien release,” which shows the loan was “satisfied,” he told the Times.
But Welters refused to say how much money he had lent the Supreme Court justice, nor on what terms. And while he said the loan was satisfied, that does not necessarily mean it was paid off, raising questions about whether it should have been disclosed as a gift.
The revelation comes amid a push to impose new ethics requirements on Supreme Court justices.
“They should adopt the same code of ethics as every other federal judge in America,” Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who has sponsored new ethics legislation, said last month. “The disclosures that have come out recently… really compel us to do something for the sake of the court.”
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