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Court packer Leonard Leo “rejects” Senate subpoena for testimony on Supreme Court gifts, calls it “politically motivated”

Leonard Leo, the co-chair of the Federalist Society and one of the few people allowed to have portraits painted with Justice Clarence Thomas, said he will refuse to comply with a subpoena for testimony issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Washington Post reports, saying the investigation into potentially unethical gifts to Supreme Court Justices to keep them on the Court to enshrine conservative political philosophy is “politically motivated.”  The stand prompted Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin to pursue potential action to force Leo’s testimony after hearing Leo’s comment.

In a statement to the Post, the defiant Leo said, “I am not capitulating to [Durbin’s] lawless support of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the left’s dark money effort to silence and cancel political opposition.”  Leo reportedly connected wealthy conservative funders like Harlon Crow and Robin Arkley II to conservative jurists–like Clarence Thomas who had expressed frustration that serving on the bench wasn’t more lucrative just before meeting Crow.

“Since July 2023, Leonard Leo has responded to the legitimate oversight requests of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a blanket refusal to cooperate,” Durbin said in a statement. “His outright defiance left the Committee with no other choice but to move forward with compulsory process. For that reason, I have issued a subpoena to Mr. Leo. … Mr. Leo has played a central role in the ethics crisis plaguing the Supreme Court and, unlike the other recipients of information requests in this matter, he has done nothing but stonewall the Committee. This subpoena is a direct result of Mr. Leo’s own actions and choices,” Durbin continued.

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