This letter is a preview of what the Senate Judiciary Committee, which just sent its own demand for information to Crow about the gifts, will likely hear in response. The committee asked for a list of all gifts to Thomas in excess of $415. Any gift valued at more than that has to be declared, according to federal disclosure rules for high-level federal officials, including Supreme Court justices.
It’s not necessarily the end of the Finance Committee inquiry, however. Wyden left the door open to “explore using other tools at the committee’s disposal” in the inquiry. Those tools could include subpoenaing Crow for the records or getting them from the Internal Revenue Service. The tax committees in both the House and Senate have the power under the tax code to get private citizen’s tax returns.
There could be a wrinkle in that plan: Crow bought himself a “golden passport” from noted tax haven St. Kitts and Nevis, according to documents a whistleblower provided to the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation as part of its Passport Papers investigation and reviewed by the Project on Government Oversight and reported at The Intercept. Crow and his brother bought the passports in 2012 and it’s not clear whether they renewed them last year, but they still held them as recently as last year.
If Crow has been using the tax shelter this dual citizenship provided him, it might be harder for Wyden to get any useful information from the IRS.
Senate Republicans, always happy to ally themselves with the wealthy and the corrupt, vow to oppose any efforts Wyden makes to get the information. Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, said that furthering the inquiry would “undermine the independence of the Supreme Court and its individual Justices.” As if a justice who has spent the last several decades in the pocket of a billionaire is in any way “independent.”
It’s 2023, which may be an odd year, but that just means Virginia takes its traditional place as one of the key states to watch. With odd-year state elections, Virginia has often been a key bellwether for the rest of the country, and this year is no different. Both the state Senate and the General Assembly are up, and both chambers could be won by either party. Daily Kos Elections Editor Jeff Singer joins us to preview the key races in both the June primary and the fall general election.