Senate Democrats are trying to investigate into the conversations between Harlan Crow, a Republican fundraiser who feted Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with opulent trips and other gifts, and Thomas.

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore, Crow’s attorney, Michael Bopp, expressed “serious concerns” about the scope and jurisdiction of the investigation. You are aware that the committee’s investigative authority is restricted.

The letter was written in response to Wyden’s request for further information regarding the donations and whether they fall under the federal gift tax last month. The reply hinted that Crow would resist a congressional subpoena as well, stating that the legislature may only issue such demands for a “legitimate legislative purpose.”

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According to Crow’s lawyer, “the timing and context of the Letter point to a different purpose.” The probe “appears to be a component of a larger campaign against Justice Thomas and, now, Mr. Crow, rather than an investigation that furthers a valid legislative purpose,” according to the timing and scope of the Letter.

The letter brought attention to the difficulties Democrats in Congress would probably have when trying to pass legislation in response to the ethics controversy playing out just across the street at the Supreme Court. Democrats are seeking additional details in the Thomas debate, but the majority of Republicans are ignoring the allegations.

The Senate Judiciary Committee invited Chief Justice John Roberts to speak, but he rejected. The court hasn’t said much further save releasing a “statement of ethics principles and practises” that upheld present procedures.

The argument started after a slew of ProPublica articles published last month revealed the expensive excursions Thomas received from Crow, including ones that took him abroad. According to another tale, Crow purchased property from Thomas and his family. Crow also covered Thomas’s grandnephew’s tuition for private school.

“The assertion that the Finance Committee lacks a legislative basis for an investigation into the abuse of gift taxes by the wealthy is simply preposterous,” Wyden said in a statement on Tuesday. The main fact is that, regardless of how affluent or connected they may be, nobody should expect to get away with avoiding Finance Committee monitoring.

Thomas stated last month in response to the first ProPublica article on the trip that he had been “informed that this type of personal hospitalityfrom intimate friends who had no business before the court was not subject to reporting.

In a statement, Thomas said, “I have tried to abide by that advice throughout my tenure and have always endeavoured to comply with the disclosure rules.

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