By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
At last month’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner, The Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. delivered a hilarious takedown of a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Perhaps Woods’ monologue came a bit too soon after new disclosures have revealed more hidden gifts provided to Justice Clarence Thomas from Republican megadonor Harlan Crow.
Pro Publica reported that Crow paid a $6,000 a month tuition bill for Thomas’ grandnephew Mark Martin to attend the private boarding school, Hidden Lake Academy, in northern Georgia in 2008.
Thomas recently revealed that he’d been raising Martin “as a son” while the justice and his wife, Ginny, lived in the District of Columbia.
“Harlan picked up the tab,” Christopher Grimwood, a former administrator at the school, told the outlet.
He said Crow paid Martin’s tuition the entire time he was a student there, which was about a year.
Grimwood said he got to know Crow and Thomas and his wife and had access to school financial information through his work as an administrator.
Before and after his time at Hidden Lake, Martin attended a second boarding school, Randolph-Macon Academy in Virginia, as Pro Publica further discovered.
“Harlan said he was paying for the tuition at Randolph-Macon Academy as well,” Grimwood said, recalling a conversation he had with Crow during a visit to the billionaire’s Adirondacks estate.
The amount Crow paid for Martin’s education over the years remains unclear.
According to public records of tuition rates, if he had paid for all four years at the two schools, the price tag could have exceeded $150,000.
According to the report, Thomas should have reported the tuition payments from Crow in his annual financial disclosures.
Several years earlier, Thomas disclosed a gift of $5,000 for Martin’s education from another friend. It is not clear why he reported that payment but not Crow’s.
Pro Publica concluded that the tuition payments added to the picture of how Crow has helped fund the lives of Thomas and his family.
“You can’t be having secret financial arrangements,” said Mark W. Bennett, a retired federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton.
Bennett said he was friendly with Thomas and declined to comment on the specifics of Thomas’ actions for the record.
But he said that he wouldn’t let his lawyer friends buy him lunch when he was on the bench.
While the approximately 3,000 people in attendance at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner and countless others watching on C-SPAN enjoyed Wood’s humorous but valid – bit, many have realized that when it comes to Justice Clarence Thomas, the jokes on the American people.
In the brutally funny monologue, Wood roasted Thomas for taking trips around the world “like an Instagram model” on Crow’s dime.
“Billionaires always come up with something new to buy,” Woods quipped.
“[Crow] bought a Supreme Court justice. Do you understand how rich you have to be to buy a Supreme Court Justice? A Black one on top of that. There’s only two in stock and Harlan Crow owns half the inventory.”