EXCLUSIVE – Democrats are being ‘utterly hypocritical’ as they ramp up Supreme Court ethics probe with vote to subpoena billionaire Harlan Crow: It’s a ‘smear campaign’ against Justice Clarence Thomas say judicial experts Ted Cruz and Carrie Severino

Democrats are escalating their ethics probe at the Supreme Court with a proposed vote to subpoena billionaires linked to top conservative judges.

Billionaire Harlan Crow and conservative judicial fundraiser Leonard Leo are in the firing line of liberal lawmakers for failing to meet demands for documents and itemized information about gifts — including transportation and lodging — to Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

Last week, Democratic Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said the information from Leo and Crow “is critical to understanding how individuals and groups with cases before the court gain private access to the judges.”

Now Democrats are expected to issue subpoenas to Crow and Leo on Thursday to provide the requested documents, which would mark a massive escalation in their investigation.

But Republicans plan to push back hard at a Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday.

Liberal senators are simply continuing their “smear campaign” against Judge Clarence Thomas, says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who serves on the Judiciary Committee.

Harlan Crow

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (left) disclosed that Republican billionaire Harlan Crow (right) paid for a trio of his private flights in financial disclosure forms

Liberal senators are simply continuing their 'smear campaign' against Judge Clarence Thomas, says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Liberal senators are simply continuing their ‘smear campaign’ against Judge Clarence Thomas, says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Cruz told DailyMail.com this week that the Democrats’ committee is “completely hypocritical and partisan in how they’re approaching this.”

‘They have no interest in a generic revision of the ethical code at the court. Instead, they are engaged in a years-long effort to delegitimize the Supreme Court because they are outraged that it is the only branch of government they do not control.”

In particular, he accused Democrats of waging a “cruel and nasty smear campaign” against Judge Thomas.

“This has everything to do with trying to harass and intimidate the justices, especially Justices Thomas and Alito,” JCN President Carrie Severino told DailyMail.com.

“(The Democrats) are trying to fabricate scandals where none exist. And this really just fits into this pattern of harassment that has unfortunately only escalated in recent years,” Severino continued.

Cruz says he is open to revising the code of ethics for judges. including the Supreme Court, but it raises issues of separation of powers.

Severino said pushing for a stricter “code of ethics” is a way to mask their real agenda – packing the court.

“I think we have to be very careful when we make ethical proposals because, again, the goal is not ethics,” she said.

“The goal is to find a way to restructure the court so that it is less originalist and more open to the extreme liberal positions of Senator Whitehouse and his colleagues.”

Cruz added that Democrats are employing a complete double standard by “demonizing” Thomas for accepting travel gifts, both at home and abroad, while ignoring liberal justices who are doing the same.

And it is “indisputably clear” that they can do so under existing ethics rules – conservative and liberal judges alike.

Democrats are ‘engaging in a character assassination and I think that’s really damaging to the chamber,” Cruz added.

“This isn’t about ethics; the judges did not break any law,” Severino said.

In August, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has announced this Crow paid for his private flights and meals on three trips in 2022.

Crow’s legal team has called the Democrats’ move “nothing more than a stunt aimed at undermining a sitting Supreme Court justice for ideological and political purposes.”

“This is not about ethics — the judges broke no law,” Carrie Severino said

“This is not about ethics — the judges broke no law,” Carrie Severino said

“We have offered comprehensive information in response to the committee’s requests, despite the serious constitutional and privacy issues presented to the committee, which were ignored and remain unaddressed,” they said in a statement.

Leo is under scrutiny after ProPublica reported a previously undisclosed 2008 fishing trip with billionaire Paul Singer, which he helped organize.

But Leo has said he will not provide the requested information about the trip because it exceeds the authority of Senate Democrats.

He said in a statement that he “will not bow to the despicable and disgusting liberal McCarthyism, which the Supreme Court wants to destroy simply because it follows the Constitution and not their political agenda.”