A Republican megadonor has been secretly funding lavish vacations for Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, according to a new ProPublica report.

But Texas billionaire Harlan Crow’s largesse goes far beyond yacht trips and resort stays with the top conservative jurist. It also includes thousands of dollars in contributions to congressional Democrats known for bucking their party.

According to an Insider review of federal campaign finance data, Crow has given a total $5,800 to Democratic-turned-Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s campaign account and $5,000 in May 2022 to Getting Stuff Done PAC, a leadership PAC tied to the Arizona senator.

Crow first contributed $2,900 to Sinema’s campaign in June 2021 before giving another $5,800 in November 2021 — prompting the campaign to refund half of it after Crow apparently exceeded federal contribution limits.

Harlan Crow’s contributions to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s political action committees.Screenshot/Federal Election Commission

Crow contributed $2,800 in March 2021 to Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia moderate who’s opposed several of President Joe Biden’s nominees and has left the door open to running against Biden for president in 2024.


cant headaches for Democrats over the last two years — first by opposing much of the “Build Back Better” social spending and climate bill and then by opposing Democrats’ plans of weakening the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

Crow has also made significant contributions to moderate-to-conservative House Democrats.

According to federal campaign finance data, the Texas billionaire has given $16,800 to Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey since 2018, contributing thousands as recently as October 2022.

Gottheimer, a member of the so-called “Unbreakable Nine” of moderate Democrats who insisted on de-linking Build Back Better from the infrastructure bill, has at times been a thorn in the side of his party as well.

And Crow has contributed $12,500 to Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas since 2006. Cuellar, a conservative opponent of abortion rights, faced a strong primary challenge from progressive activist Jessica Cisneros in 2022.

Crow’s relationship and lavish vacations with Justice Thomas have raised significant ethics concerns — Thomas never disclosed the flights and yacht trips financed by the GOP megadonor, apparently violating a post-Watergate federal law that requires justices to report gifts.

It also raises questions over what influence, if any, Crow has been able to exert over Thomas’s decisions as a Justice.

For his part, Crow told ProPublica in a statement that he and his wife “have never sought to influence Justice Thomas on any legal or political issue.”

Insider has reached out to representatives for Manchin, Sinema, Gottheimer, and Cuellar, asking them if they plan to return the contributions and whether they have concerns about Crow’s relationship with Justice Thomas. We will update this story if we receive a response.

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