On Tuesday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) warned Senate Democrats about issuing subpoenas to two prominent billionaires because of their friendly ties to conservative members of the Supreme Court.
McConnell said such a move would be “totally inappropriate.”
GOP Leader Mitch McConnell says Sen. Dick Durbin’s plan to subpoena conservative donors Harlan Crow and Robin Arkley II and Federalist Society leader Leonard Leo is “totally inappropriate.”
“What he’s targeting here is private citizens with no legislative purpose,” he says.
— Alex Bolton (@alexanderbolton) October 31, 2023
McConnell’s warning comes on the heels of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin announcing this week that his committee will subpoena two businessmen who extended personal hospitality to conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
I just announced: I’m asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to grant me authorization to issue subpoenas to Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo, and Robin Arkley II – the next step in our Supreme Court ethics investigation. pic.twitter.com/FSWcKVN3wS
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) October 30, 2023
From The Hill:
“What he’s targeting here is private citizens with no legislative purpose. I think it’s completely and totally inappropriate,” McConnell said at a press conference Tuesday.
Durbin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Federal Courts, announced Monday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to authorize subpoenas for billionaire real estate magnate Harlan Crow and mortgage company owner Robin Arkley II, who provided hospitality to Thomas and Alito, according to media reports.
In April, Whitehouse called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Clarence Thomas’ real estate deal.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse calls for Attorney General Garland to investigate the Clarence Thomas real estate deal. pic.twitter.com/hjZOV9PzVj
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 14, 2023
He also called out Thomas for being unethical a month later.
MUST SEE: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse brings the RECEIPTS while slamming Clarence Thomas for his egregious lack of ethics.pic.twitter.com/ETj0ZtxeW7
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) May 2, 2023
ProPublica reported in April that Crow had treated Thomas to luxury vacations for more than 20 years and then reported in June that Arkley received Alito as a guest at his luxury fishing lodge in the Alaska wilderness.
Durbin announced the committee will also issue a subpoena for Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society leader, who went on vacation with Thomas at Crow’s Camp Topridge resort in the Adirondacks, and who helped organize Alito’s fishing vacation in Alaska.
Durbin said on the Senate floor Tuesday that the subpoenas are “the next step in the committee’s ongoing investigation of the ethics of the Supreme Court.”
“It only comes after Mr. Crow refused to comply with committee requests and Mr. Leo and Arkley stonewalled the committee,” he said.
Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo & Robin Arkley claim to have “separation of powers” protections and refuse to provide valuable information on involvement with Supreme Court Justices.
They’re not federal officials or members of the judiciary.
We just gave them a new deadline to comply.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) October 5, 2023