Friday, April 12, 2024

Leonard Leo won't comply with Senate Democrats' subpoena in Supreme Court ethics probe - CBS News

Washington — Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo said he will not comply with a subpoena issued by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of their ongoing investigation into ethics practices at the Supreme Court.

The subpoena was issued to Leo by Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin on Thursday, months after Democrats on the panel voted to authorize it. Durbin has been looking into ethics issues at the high court for roughly a year following a series of reports that revealed Justice Clarence Thomas took luxury trips with a Republican megadonor, Harlan Crow, and did not disclose them. Crow, a Texas real estate developer, did not receive a subpoena from Durbin, a spokesman for Crow said.

"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," Durbin said in a statement. "This subpoena is a direct result of Mr. Leo's own actions and choices."

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said that Leo's "outright defiance left the Committee with no other choice but to move forward with compulsory process."

Leo's lawyer, David Rivkin, told Durbin in a letter Thursday that his client is not complying with the "unlawful and politically motivated subpoena" he received. 

"I am not capitulating to his lawless support of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the left's dark money effort to silence and cancel political opposition," Leo, who has played a crucial role in the confirmations of several of the conservative Supreme Court justices, said in a statement. Leo is the co-chairman of the conservative Federalist Society.


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