ProPublica said a bank statement filed in the school’s bankruptcy case showed a $6,200 payment from Crow to cover one month’s tuition for Mark Martin at Hidden Lake Academy, a private boarding school in northern Georgia. Thomas was the boy’s legal guardian and has said he raised Martin like his own son.
The publication also quoted a former administrator at the school as saying Crow paid Martin’s tuition the entire year he was there. Thomas didn’t list the tuition payments on his annual financial disclosure reports, although he did list a gift from another friend for Martin’s education on a 2002 report.
Thomas didn’t respond to a request for comment conveyed through a spokeswoman. A Thomas confidant, Washington lawyer
“This story is another attempt to manufacture a scandal about Justice Thomas,” Paoletta said. “But let’s be clear about what is supposedly scandalous now: Justice Thomas and his wife devoted twelve years of their lives to taking in and caring for a beloved child — who was not their own — just as Justice Thomas’s grandparents had done for him.”
Paoletta said federal law didn’t require Thomas to disclose the payments. Paoletta also said that Crow, who attended Randolph-Macon, made the payments directly to the schools.
Crow’s office said in an emailed statement that he and his wife have provided financial support to many at-risk students.
“It’s disappointing that those with partisan political interests would try to turn helping at-risk youth with tuition assistance into something nefarious or political,” his office said.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman
“With every new revelation in this case, it becomes clearer that Harlan Crow has been subsidizing an extravagant lifestyle that Justice Thomas and his family could not otherwise afford,” Wyden said in an emailed statement. “This is a foul breach of ethics standards, which are already far too low when it comes to the Supreme Court.”
ProPublica previously reported that Crow treated Thomas to lavish vacations and private jet flights for more than two decades and paid money to Thomas and his relatives in an undisclosed real estate deal.
The two men have been friends since 1996, according to Crow. Thomas joined the court in 1991.
(Updates with Wyden comments starting in ninth paragraph)
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