Kellyanne Conway Is Now Involved in Clarence Thomas’ Mess

The GOP pollster allegedly funneled money from a conservative judicial activist to Thomas's wife, Ginni.

Kellyanne Conway Is Now Involved in Clarence Thomas’ Mess
Left to right: Kellyanne Conway, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

Hours after the world learned that GOP megadonor Harlan Crow paid private school tuition for a child Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was raising as his son, yet another Thomas-related scandal dropped. It involves money moving between his wife Ginni, conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo, and *spins wheel* former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway!

The Washington Post reported late Thursday that in January 2012, Leo—the former executive vice president of the Federalist Society and current co-chairman of the board—told Conway to bill a nonprofit organization he advised for $25,000, then use that money to pay Thomas’s wife. Leo apparently didn’t want people to know about this arrangement, because he wrote in documents reviewed by the Post that he wanted to “give” Ginni “another $25K” but said the paperwork should have “no mention of Ginni, of course.” Hmm!

Conway’s firm, the Polling Company, sent the invoice to the non-profit Judicial Education Project the very same day. Leo instructed Conway to put on her invoice “Supplement for Constitution Polling and Opinion Consulting,” but it’s not clear what work, if any, Ginni did for Conway. And even if she did do work equal to the amount, putting in writing that you want the whole thing to remain a secret is quite suspect. The Post found that Conway paid Ginni Thomas’s firm, Liberty Consulting, at least $80,000 between June 2011 and June 2012, and was set to pay another $20,000 by the end of the year.

Leo is friends with the Thomases—he’s also vacationed with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow—and has supported the Justice ideologically, but the Post reporting shows Leo personally working to funnel money to the couple. (Guess who else paid some of Ginni’s salary at her company’s predecessor, Liberty Central? The very same Harlan Crow. And Leo was on that group’s board.)

A few months after the $25K gift, the Judicial Education Project filed an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in a huge voting case called Shelby County v. Holder. Thomas ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a 5-4 decision gutting the Voting Rights Act. JEP is now known as the 85 Fund. (The Post has also published a timeline of Thomas’s ethics issues. To which we say: helpful, but it’s not just Thomas.)

Leo told the Post that there’s totally above board reasons for all this! First, Ginni has long done work in the conservative movement, so nothing so see here. And as for wanting to keep it secret? That’s because people are mean to the couple. “Knowing how disrespectful, malicious and gossipy people can be, I have always tried to protect the privacy of Justice Thomas and Ginni,” he said. He did not answer questions about how much money he shuttled to them in total.

Conway did not respond to the paper’s request for comment, neither did the Thomases. Ginni has long claimed that she and her husband keep their careers separate, but I’d like to see their bank statements to verify that claim.

We’ve been saying it for over a year but it’s a good time to reiterate: Clarence Thomas should resign.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin