by Katelynn Richardson
Harlan Crow said media reports on his friendship with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are “factually incorrect” and part of a “political hit job” in an interview Monday with The Dallas Morning News.
Crow said it’s possible for people to simply be friends without having an “angle” and slammed the media for attempting to spin his friendship with Thomas into something it’s not. “I think that the media, and this ProPublica group in particular, funded by leftists, has an agenda to destabilize the [Supreme] Court,” Crow told The Dallas Morning News.
A ProPublica report on Thomas’ acceptance of expense-paid vacations from Crow, which Thomas said colleagues told him were “not reportable” under ethics rules, launched attacks from Democratic lawmakers and calls for his resignation.
“What they’ve done is not truthful,” Crow continued. “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.”
The two have “different points of view” on certain issues, Crow said, highlighting the fact that he is pro-choice and Thomas takes the opposite position.
“Do you think I would try to influence him about my point of view on that matter? No, of course not. That’s insane,” he said. “We have different points of view on that and probably other issues.”
Thomas wrote a strong concurring opinion for last summer’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
The conservative justice has frequently been the subject of attacks, sometimes directly stemming from his opinions, such as student protests over his teaching at George Washington University following the Dobbs decision, sometimes not, like Democratic lawmakers criticizing his wife’s political activism.
Addressing the more recent ProPublica report on his purchase of the home Thomas’ mother lives in, Crow said he bought it because he believed Thomas has “an amazing American life story.” Crow previously told ProPublica he intended to turn the house, where Thomas spent part of his childhood living, into a public museum telling his life story.
“Clarence Thomas is one of the most honorable people I’ve ever met in my life,” Crow told the outlet. “He’s a man of incredibly high personal and moral standards.”
He added that he did not know what kind of reporting a judge must do “legally or morally.”
Additionally, Crow took issue with how media has characterized him as a “GOP megadonor” and used his love of collecting historical artifacts to insinuate he is sympathetic to Nazism.
Many outlets drew attention to the fact that he owned a signed copy of Mein Kampf and two of Hitler’s paintings, along with other related items, while The Nation justice correspondent Elie Mystal outright called him a “Nazi sympathizer.”
“I don’t know what megadonor means,” he said, adding that he gives a small amount of money away compared to other individuals. “I have been a donor to moderate Republican individuals running for office, as well as groups that are involved in that kind of world to support more moderate Republican stuff.”
Regarding his collection of books, manuscripts and artifacts, Crow said he collects “pretty much anything that relates to American history,” including a few things about the “bad guys.”
“So yeah, World War II was a fairly big event in American history,” he told the outlet. “We have a bunch of stuff about World War II, including some of our enemies… For somebody to say that I like those guys would be a weird conclusion, but that’s been in the press recently.”
ProPublica editor Stephen Engelberg told the Dallas Morning News “none of the facts” they reported were disputed by Crow in the answers he provided at their request.
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Katelynn Richardson is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Clarence Thomas” by Stetson University. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.