Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., renewed her calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be impeached after a report detailed the justice's close relationship with a billionaire Republican donor — going so far as to say she will introduce articles of impeachment herself.
In comments made on the Lever Time podcast Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez said Thomas' position on the court is an "emergency" and a "crisis," and reiterated her full support for removing him.
When asked if she would introduce the articles of impeachment herself, the New York lawmaker said she would step up if no one else does.
"Congress is out of session for the next week. And so that does give Democrats some time to strategize, and the way I feel about it is that, I do think articles need to be introduced," said Ocasio-Cortez.
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"If we decide strategically that the actual author of those articles and who introduces them may not be me, that's fine, I will support impeachment. But I just think that if no one's going to introduce it I would certainly be open to doing so and drafting them myself," she continued, adding, "I think this has gone far, far beyond any sort of acceptable standard in any democracy, let alone an American democracy."
Democrats have expressed outrage at Thomas because of his wife's conservative political activities and, most recently, a report that claimed the justice has received lavish gifts from a GOP mega-donor and never disclosed them.
A ProPublica investigation found that Thomas’ close friendship with real estate developer Harlan Crow allowed him to accompany the Texas billionaire on luxury vacations on his private jet and yacht, as well as free stays on Crow’s vast vacation property, among other perks. He reportedly failed to disclose the vast majority of Crow’s gifts.
In a statement Friday, Thomas described Harlan and Kathy Crow as "among our dearest friends."
"As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them," Thomas said. "Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable."
"I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines," Thomas continued. "These guidelines are now being changed, as the committee of the Judicial Conference responsible for financial disclosure for the entire federal judiciary just this past month announced new guidance. And, it is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future."
The ProPublica report prompted several Democratic lawmakers to demand that a strict code of ethics be imposed on the Supreme Court by Congress.
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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thomas’ alleged actions are "simply inconsistent with the ethical standards the American people expect of any public servant, let alone a Justice on the Supreme Court."
"Today’s report demonstrates, yet again, that Supreme Court Justices must be held to an enforceable code of conduct, just like every other federal judge," Durbin said in a Thursday statement. "The ProPublica report is a call to action, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will act."
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However, Democrats have been all bark and no bite before. Last year, Ocasio-Cortez was one of a handful of House Democrats who demanded that Thomas step down or be impeached because he would not recuse himself from cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Investigators on the Jan. 6 select committee revealed that the justice's wife, Ginni Thomas, sent text messages to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to challenge Donald Trump's 2020 election loss.
"Clarence Thomas should resign," Ocasio-Cortez said at the time. "If not, his failure to disclose income from right-wing organizations, recuse himself from matters involving his wife, and his vote to block the Jan 6th commission from key information must be investigated and could serve as grounds for impeachment."
But Democrats took no action against Thomas.
Ocasio-Cortez's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking if this time Democrats would follow through and introduce articles of impeachment against Thomas.
Fox News' Elizabeth Elkind and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.