Bharara: Clarence Thomas' donor trips may not be illegal, but not a good look
US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has come under fire for failing to disclose taking luxury trips paid for by a billionaire Republican donor. How big of a problem is this for him, SCOTUS, and the judiciary?
Preet Preet Bharara, former US attorney for the Southern District of New York, says that Thomas probably didn't violate any actual rule related to conflicts of interest. But the optics are bad — especially coming on the heels of his wife's involvement with the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. "At a time when confidence and trust in the integrity of the court is low, it's not a great thing to do," Bhararara tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.
To be sure, there's no evidence that the gifts influenced how Thomas ruled on cases. After all, the ex-prosecutor says he's a "dyed-in-the-wool conservative."
Still, Preet Bharara thinks he should have disclosed the gifts. If he didn't, it's likely because Thomas knew how bad it would look.