Republican U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after numerous well-documented reports and allegations of corruption and scandal related to the close personal and financial relationship he and his wife, Ginni Thomas, have with a billionaire GOP donor, his wife's alleged attempts to promote overturning of the 2020 presidential election results, and his refusal to recuse himself from matters before the court when he has ties to them.
Leader McConnell, more than any other sitting member of the U.S. Senate, has shaped the Supreme Court for decades, helping to push it more and more to the right. His infamous and unprecedented refusal to even allow a single hearing on Merrick Garland, then-President Barack Obama's nominee to replace the late, far-right Justice Antonin Scalia, was later followed by his catapulting Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett into the high court just weeks before the 2020 election.
He also worked "feverishly" to defend Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid allegations of sexual misconduct, helping to secure the seat for conservatives. Before those two Supreme Court nominee battles, as Majority Leader, McConnell pressed the button on the "nuclear option," ending the 60-vote threshold on SCOTUS nominees in order to get Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first nominee, onto the Court.
McConnell helped to create what NPR called at the end of last year's SCOTUS session – which included striking down Roe v. Wade – the "most conservative" Supreme Court "in 90 years."
Now, amid allegations that touch nearly every conservative justice currently on the Court in one way or another, McConnell is again working to protect what he helped create.
Next week, as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced, the Judiciary Committee will take up Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's legislation to create a legal code of ethics for the Supreme Court, after Chief Justice John Roberts, for over a decade, has refused to do so – even after the most severe allegations against Justice Thomas.
Back in April, amid allegations Justice Thomas accepted gifts including luxury travel and vacations without disclosing even the portions he allegedly is legally required to, McConnell defended the Supreme Court justice.
This week he emphatically defended the Supreme Court in a Washington Post op-ed.
And on Thursday, McConnell sat down with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt and defended Justice Thomas, by attempting to attack the liberal justices on the Court.
"Many of the liberals on the Court have also accepted gifts," he told Hewitt, apparently without substantiating the claim. Justices can accept some gifts, and some must be disclosed.
McConnell also claimed the allegations of corruption are "just an effort to try to target this new Supreme Court."
"If they can't get their way on the merits they go after the Court itself," he added, which is arguably false.
The majority of reports about Justice Thomas came from the highly-respected non-profit, independent investigative news organization ProPublica. They were published before the high court's most extreme and most-criticized decisions were handed down late last month, and its reporting has not been proven false, despite attacks from right-wing media.
On Thursday, McConnell was forced to reach back in time, more than three years ago, to March of 2020 when Leader Schumer "slammed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh," as NBC News reported, at "an abortion-rights rally outside the Supreme Court."
Schumer later said, "he regretted saying that two Supreme Court justices 'won't know what hit' them if they vote to uphold abortion restrictions, but insisted he was not making a threat and offered no apology."
“I shouldn't have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I never, never would do such a thing, and Leader McConnell knows that," Schumer said on the Senate floor.
McConnell on Thursday described Schumer's three-year old remarks by telling Hewitt, "Chuck Schumer for example earlier went over to the Supreme Court, called out two of the members by name, and said they pay a price if they ruled a certain way."
Listen to McConnell below or at this link.