June 06,2023

Wyden Statement on Continued Stonewalling by Harlan Crow on Clarence Thomas Gifts

Washington, D.C.—Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement in response to a new letter from an attorney representing billionaire Republican activist Harlan Crow:

“It comes as little surprise that Mr. Crow is doubling down on bogus legal theories as he continues to stonewall basic questions about his gifts to Clarence Thomas and his family. If anything, the most recent letter from his attorney raises more questions than it answers. The letter states, “charter rates or reimbursements at rates prescribed by law were paid to the Crow family entities” with zero additional detail that could help clarify these financial arrangements, such as exactly who made those payments for Justice Thomas’s extravagant luxury travel, and how many times and in what amounts those payments were made. Far too often, efforts to investigate real life tax practices of the ultra-wealthy and powerful end with this kind of vague, carefully-worded assurance that everything is on the level. That's simply not good enough. This is exactly why the Finance Committee is pursuing this matter as part of its broader review of gift and estate tax practices of ultra-high net worth individuals. I’ve already begun productive discussions with the Finance Committee on next steps to compel answers to our questions from Mr. Crow, including by subpoena, and those discussions will continue.”