Billionaire Harlan Crow is speaking out about criticism focused on his relationship with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas is facing calls to resign or be impeached over his decades-long relationship with Crow. Earlier this month, ProPublica brought attention to Thomas' relationship with Crow, suggesting impropriety because Thomas did not disclose vacationing with Crow.
ProPublica later revealed that Crow purchased the house that Thomas' mother lives in, describing the transaction as "the first known instance of money flowing from the Republican megadonor to the Supreme Court justice."
Thomas has denied any wrongdoing, and it remains unclear if Thomas has actually broken any legal or ethical rules.
What is Crow saying?
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with the Dallas Morning News, Crow alleged there is a hidden agenda driving the stories about Thomas, one that seeks to "destabilize" the Supreme Court by tarnishing Thomas.
"I have to set the record straight," Crow said. "I think it's a political hit job. I don't think the media cares really much about Harlan Crow, and I think they're right. They shouldn't care much about Harlan Crow.
"But I think that the media, and this ProPublica group in particular, funded by leftists, has an agenda to destabilize the [Supreme] Court. What they've done is not truthful. It lacks integrity. They've done a pretty good job in the last week or two of unfairly slamming me and more importantly than that, unfairly slamming Justice Thomas," he added.
Indeed, Democrats for years have targeted Thomas because he is the court's most conservative justice, and thus the biggest thorn in the side of the progressive agenda.
How did ProPublica respond?
Stephen Engelberg, chief editor of ProPublica, defended his organization from Crow's criticism.
As investigative journalists, our job is to unearth the facts. If Harlan Crow disputes the accuracy of our reporting involving Justice Clarence Thomas, we invite him to provide us with the details so we can correct any inaccuracies.
It's worth noting that he and Justice Thomas were given detailed, written questions in advance of our stories. Thomas declined to respond. Crow's answers were included in full. He questioned none of the facts we reported.
It's true, however, that ProPublica leans left, was founded by leftists, and is still funded in significant part by left-leaning donors. The tens of thousands of donors that Engelberg cited, moreover, reportedly comprise less than 20% of ProPublica's revenue.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has published an extensive analysis demonstrating how ProPublica is overselling its allegations against Thomas.
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