US Supreme Court
US Supreme Court AFP

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to disclose three private jet trips funded by GOP mega-donor Harlan Crow, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee documents released on Thursday.

This includes a 2017 trip from St. Louis to Montana and back to Dallas, a 2019 round-trip from Washington to Savannah, GA, and a 2021 round-trip from Washington to San Jose, CA.

The committee got the information, covering a span of seven years, from documents provided by Crow, according to NBC News.

The documents were released a day after Republicans blocked Democrats' attempt to pass Supreme Court ethics legislation that the committee advanced nearly a year ago.

The shared documents also included details of other luxury trips made by Justice Thomas in 2019, such as a private jet journey to Indonesia and California, and an eight-day yacht cruise in Bali.

The committee's report estimates the total value of gifts Thomas has received at nearly $4.2 million.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee's ongoing investigation into the Supreme Court's ethical crisis is producing new information — like what we've revealed today — and makes it crystal clear that the highest court needs an enforceable code of conduct, because its members continue to choose not to meet the moment," Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a statement.

In response, Thomas's attorney, Elliot S. Berke, defended the justice, saying that the trips fell under the "personal hospitality exemption" and were not required to be disclosed.

"The Judicial Conference changed this provision last year, and Justice Thomas has fully complied with the new disclosure requirement," Berke said.

"Prior to this change, the provision, set forth in the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts' Guide to Judiciary Policy, stated that federal judges should not report gifts of personal hospitality based on personal relationships.

"Consequently, and as Justice Thomas has already explained, he and many other federal judges were advised that they were not required to report gifts of personal hospitality from friends who did not have business before the Court."

Durbin said the information from Crow was obtained via a subpoena as part of Senate Judiciary Committee's measures to bring transparency to the ethical practices of Supreme Court justices.

He also criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for not implementing an enforceable code of conduct despite the court's declining approval ratings and ongoing scandals.

Harlan Crow's office confirmed that an agreement was reached with the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide the requested documents in exchange for ending the probe into his activities.

Crow, despite concerns about the inquiry's legality, negotiated in good faith to resolve the matter.