Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to subpoena Harlan Crow or Leonard Leo

Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to subpoena Harlan Crow or Leonard Leo

by Andy Kroll, ProPublica

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ decadeslong friendship with real estate tycoon Harlan Crow and Samuel Alito’s luxury travel with billionaire Paul Singer have raised questions about influence and ethics at the nation’s highest court.

More than two months after authorizing subpoenas for key figures in the Supreme Court’s ethics controversies, Senate Democrats have yet to issue them. The delay has caused outside activists to demand that Democrats press ahead with their investigation.

On Nov. 30, the Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve subpoenas for Republican donor Harlan Crow and conservative legal activist Leonard Leo after the two men had refused to voluntarily provide all the information requested by the committee about gifts for Supreme Court justices.

“Both Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow are central players in this crisis,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said at the time. “Their attempts to thwart legitimate oversight efforts of Congress should concern all of us.”

But in an interview last week, Durbin told ProPublica that he had not yet issued the subpoenas to Crow and Leo. Questioned about the timing or what issues remained to be worked out, he said only: “Still working on it.”

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