The Republican billionaire who lavished luxury gifts on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a collection of Nazi memorabilia at his sprawling home in Dallas, according to reports.
Harlan Crow, the heir to a real estate fortune, also has a garden featuring the statues of some of the twentieth century’s worst dictators.
Crow, 74, has said that he collects the statues because he hates communism and fascism, but his habit caused controversy in 2015 when he hosted a fundraiser at his home on the eve of the Yom Kippur holiday.
A year earlier, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News got a peek at the sculptures of Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, and Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito.
In addition to the statues, Crow has a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and works by artists Renoir and Monet.
The billionaire also has signed original documents from his heroes, former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill, according to reports.
Thomas admitted this week that he and his wife, conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, took trips on Crow’s superyacht and private plane for more than 20 years.
In addition to the luxe travel accommodations, the couple also received lavish gifts, such as a portrait by Montreal-based illustrator Sharif Tarabay and a $19,000 Bible that belonged to abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years. 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 in a statement issued by the high court on Friday.
“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,” the conservative justice added.
A post-Watergate law passed in 1978 required government officials — including Supreme Court justices, federal judges, and members of Congress — to disclose a report on their finances every year.
However, the guidelines on reportable gifts changed on March 14. Justices are now required to disclose gifts and free stays at commercial properties or when gifts of hospitality are being reimbursed by a third party who is not the person providing it.
Thomas vowed Friday “to follow this guidance in the future.”
Crow insisted his treatment of the Thomases was “no different from the hospitality we have extended to our many other dear friends.”
“We have never asked about a pending or lower court case, and Justice Thomas has never discussed one, and we have never sought to influence Justice Thomas on any legal or political issue,” the real estate scion said in a statement to ProPublica, adding that he feels the justice is “one of the greatest Americans of our time” and is committed to endowing his legacy.