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Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

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Headlined to H1 6/16/11

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Every Democrat from the White House down screamed loudly for New York Representative Anthony Weiner to resign, and he finally did. But it's not a Democrat that's breathing the biggest sigh of relief at Weiner's downfall. It's Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. There was much talk a year ago that Weiner would be the point man on the House Judiciary Committee if it decided to go after Thomas for his long trail of financial manipulations, abuse, and duplicity. Weiner gave some hope that he'd be the go to guy against Thomas because he had been hammering him publicly on his dealings and demanding that he recuse himself from any high court deliberations and ruling on the constitutionality of the health care reform law that conservative's loathe.

 

Weiner certainly had a lot of ammunition to make Thomas's misdoings a prima facie legal and political embarrassment for the GOP. This stemmed from Thomas's wife Ginni's mini-king ransom earnings she received from assorted right wing foundations and think tanks. The Heritage Foundation, was a prominent funder of Ginni as well as the ultraconservative Koch brothers, the Coors family and Richard Mellon Scaife, all of which have a major interest in any number of Supreme Court rulings.

Thomas did disclose her earnings. He did not disclose speaking fees and perks he got from a bevy of the same conservative groups that his wife worked for and had close political ties to. And then he refused to acknowledge her involvement with Liberty Central.
Then there was the strong hint that Thomas perjured himself in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his court confirmation hearings in 1991 and that he compounded that by lying under oath to Congress during the hearings.

Thomas was asked directly by Utah senator Orin Hatch during his confirmation hearings about Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct and whether he used sexually suggestive language. Thomas answered: "I deny each and every single allegation against me today that suggested in any way that I had conversations of a sexual nature or about pornographic material with Anita Hill, that I ever attempted to date her, that I ever had any personal sexual interest in her, or that I in any way ever harassed her. "

Thomas was emphatic, "If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it." This was stated under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Thomas's sworn testimony was clearly contradicted even then in public statements by witnesses. The witnesses were not called to testify.

Two decades later Thomas's apparent perjured testimony to Congress was back on the legal table when another Thomas intimate confirmed that he engaged in sexual harassment, was addicted to pornography, and talked incessantly and graphically about it and women were truthful.

It's also clearly established that a public official--whether the president, presidential appointees, or judges--can be punished for giving false information (and that's any false information of any nature) to the House or Senate.

A close scrutiny by House Democrats of Thomas's possible wrongdoing was taken off the Congressional table when the Republicans took back control of the House last November. And Thomas's financial misdoings and dubious confirmation hearing testimony quickly fell from the news.

But with the 2012 elections nearing and the possibility that the Democrats could either win back control of the House or substantially boost their numbers there, the Thomas's financial double dealing and shadowy political ties could easily have been back on the political table. Weiner showed intense interest in Thomas's doings, and his public hectoring of Thomas during the health care debate about his financial dealings sent a mild signal that Thomas at some point could be fair game for a probe. That would have done much to further expose the financial, legal, and moral misdeeds by conservatives that the GOP routinely sweeps under the rug.

Now Thomas and the GOP doesn't have to worry about that. Thomas's potential tormentor is out of the House and Democrats seem pretty much content to put the Weiner and the Thomas matter behind them. Thomas can now safely breathe a big sigh of relief at that.


Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst and New America Media associate editor. He hosts nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk shows on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.
Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

 

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
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Clarence Thomas has been protected from "day one".... by Dennis Kaiser on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 5:26:51 AM
I knew there was more than we saw from the lamestr... by Dory in Havasu on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:05:55 PM
It is unfortunate that Weiner put himself in a pos... by Sharra Rasheed on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:40:30 PM
And just in case there is any question about my op... by Sharra Rasheed on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:45:53 PM
I think that people should not be juvenile adults ... by BFalcon on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:59:54 PM
He is not an example of what we have on the COURT.... by Dennis Kaiser on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 2:20:22 PM
He is just one of the "gang"... otherwise why aren... by Dennis Kaiser on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 2:21:48 PM
in 1991 when old President Bush nominated Cla... by zephyr on Sunday, Jun 19, 2011 at 12:52:46 PM
That's all it was ever about.  Weiner just ga... by Magginkat on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 2:41:10 PM
   Wiener will be back sooner that you t... by GUY P. FRASER on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 4:08:44 PM
This Thomas thing seems to be the reason Weiner wa... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 8:56:25 PM
Seriously ... The "scandal" involving Wiener -- wh... by Hooker Jay on Saturday, Jun 18, 2011 at 1:21:09 PM