“Judicial activist urged to avoid mentioning Ginni in payment to Clarence Thomas’s wife.” WaPo

The Washington Post has revealed that conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo has called for the exclusion of any reference to Ginni Thomas in a proposed payment to the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The request has raised eyebrows and sparked debate across the political spectrum.

Leo told Kellyanne Conway, a GOP pollster who would later serve as an aide to former President Trump, to “give” Virginia Thomas “another $25K” in January 2012 but emphasized that there be “No mention of Ginni, of course” in the paperwork, according to documents viewed by the Post. Conway’s Polling Company sent the nonprofit Judicial Education Project a bill for $25,000 that day for “Supplement for Constitution Polling and Opinion Consulting.”

Later that year, the Judicial Education Project submitted an amicus brief in a case before the Supreme Court that would ultimately overturn portions of the Voting Rights Act. In total, Conway’s Polling Company paid Thomas’s Liberty Consulting firm $80,000 between June 2011 and June 2012, the Post reported. It was expected to pay another $20,000 by the end of 2012. Leo said in a statement to the Post that Thomas’s work in this case “did not involve anything” related to the Supreme Court’s business.

“It is no secret that Ginni Thomas has a long history of working on issues within the conservative movement, and part of that work has involved gauging public attitudes and sentiment,” Leo said. “The work she did here did not involve anything connected with either the Court’s business or with other legal issues.” “Knowing how disrespectful, malicious and gossipy people can be, I have always tried to protect the privacy of Justice Thomas and Ginni,” he added of his effort to keep the name of the Supreme Court justice’s wife off paperwork. Justice Thomas has recently come under intense scrutiny following several reports by ProPublica about his relationship with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow. A new report on Thursday showed that Crow had paid thousands of dollars in tuition to a private boarding school for Thomas’s great-nephew.

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

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