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Clarence Thomas Is Hiding Even More Money Than We Knew

The justice has received millions of dollars’ worth of gifts, far more than his colleagues, but only reported a fraction of it.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Crime doesn’t pay, but it seems that Justice can get you millions.

A new report from Fix the Court, a judicial watchdog and advocacy group, found that justices on the U.S. Supreme Court received close to a total of $3 million in gifts, at least, over the last 20 years—with more than $2.4 million of those gifts being directed solely to Justice Clarence Thomas.

Thomas has repeatedly been the focus of ethical scrutiny over reports that he received exorbitant gifts and vacations from Republican billionaires, never paid back a loan for his beloved R.V., and cavorted with the Koch brothers, while failing to adequately disclose many of the perks he’s received. All of this has been reported on extensively by publications such as ProPublica. Now, Fix the Court has worked to add it all up.

Fix the Court was able to identify 103 gifts that Thomas received between 2004 and 2024, totaling a value of $2,402,310. Overall, it found 193 when counting some gifts that were received before that period. These gifts could be a number of things: often meals or lodging, with a free flight counting as one gift and a round-trip journey counting as two.

The court’s gift-reporting threshold has slowly risen over the course of 20 years. In 2004, it was $285, and in 2023, it was $480. Of those 193 gifts, Thomas only disclosed receiving 27.

Fix the Court was also able to identify 101 “likely gifts”—mostly trips to exclusive clubs Bohemian Grove and Topridge—Thomas received during those 20 years, which added an additional value of $1,787,684. Including those “likely gifts,” Thomas has reportedly received $4,189,994 worth of perks.

For context, in January 2001, an associate Supreme Court justice like Thomas would’ve made $194,300, a sum that has since risen to $285,400, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. Through gifts, Thomas has roughly doubled his official published income from the last 20 years, which would sit at approximately $4,747,700. To Thomas, being bought and paid for appears to be a second job altogether. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

When counting “likely gifts” furnished to Thomas, justices seated on the U.S. Supreme Court received an astounding 445 gifts valued at $4,780,720. Without those “likely gifts,” the justices’ tallies still hit 344, worth $2,993,036.

As School Shootings Abound, Vermont Police Terrify Kids with Fake One

One parent wondered why the police carried out the exercise at all.

A police officer stands next to a car
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
A police officer in Burlington, Vermont

Police officers in Burlington, Vermont, opted for an unusual teaching method for an active shooting simulation: inflicting pure terror.

Roughly 20 Burlington High School students were touring the Burlington Police Station Wednesday as part of a year-end forensics program when the authorities decided to stage a surprise active shooter demonstration, with one officer bursting into the room dressed as a masked gunman, firing blanks and sending students ducking for cover, reported Vermont’s weekly paper Seven Days.

Parents of the affected students were outraged, telling the paper that they felt the officers were playing on the fears of teenagers who grew up enveloped in fears of mass gun violence.

“I’m baffled,” one unidentified mother told Seven Days. “It is a very real threat to kids these days to have a school shooting. It’s something they worry about.”

One student, speaking anonymously, told the paper that the incident left her “shaking and crying,” fearing that she was going to get shot. Another said that they scraped their knee while attempting to find shelter, while a third immediately rushed to contact their mother.

“It felt so real,” a student told Seven Days.

Burlington police confirmed to the paper that the incident occurred, noting that they had informed teachers ahead of time that there would be a “gunshot-related crime” depicted during the tour—but not that it would take place without warning.

In a separate email to parents, schoolteachers alleged that the police department had wanted the demonstration to be “as realistic as possible” and that the department had previously performed the live demonstrations for college students and adults.

“The detectives did apologize after they realized that the reenactment did not translate well to high school students,” the teachers wrote, according to an email obtained by Seven Days.

The school district has since issued an apology for the incident and has offered counseling services to the students involved.

Steve Bannon’s Lawyer Goes Ballistic Over Prison Sentence

The judge had to tell David Schoen to calm down.

David Schoen speaks into microphones as he stands next to Steve Bannon
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The trial may be over for Steve Bannon, but that doesn’t mean his attorneys are done with the drama.

The January 6 conspirator’s legal representation blew up Thursday after his client was ordered to report to prison on July 1 to serve a four-month sentence, resulting in a swift dressing down by Judge Carl J. Nichols.

Bannon attorney David Schoen reportedly “sprung into action” after Nichols announced his decision, becoming much more lively than he had been throughout the rest of the hearing, per NBC News.

“One thing you have to learn as a lawyer is that when the judge has made his decision, you don’t stand up and start yelling,” Nichols responded.

But when Schoen refused to quit, the judge added that he’d “had enough.”

“I’m not yelling,” Schoen threw back, explaining that he was “passionate.”

“You’re sending a man to prison who thought he was complying with the law, we don’t do that in my system,” he continued, deriding the decision as “contrary to our system of justice.”

That appeared to be the final straw for the judge, who ordered Schoen to “sit down.”

Despite facing a near future in prison, Bannon appeared in decent spirits on Thursday, telling reporters that he had “great lawyers” with the intention of going “all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.”

“There’s nothing that can shut me up and nothing that will shut me up,” Bannon said. “There’s not a prison built or a jail built that will ever shut me up.”

That already seems to be the case: Bannon was sentenced to prison more than a year and a half ago, but he has remained free this whole time to spew disinformation and hatred online.

Bannon isn’t the only eyebrow-raising client on Schoen’s roster. Prior to representing the far-right conspiracy theorist, he defended the Russian mafia, capital murderers, and international drug dealers. Schoen has been an adviser to House Speaker Mike Johnson, was the last person to see his client Jeffrey Epstein alive, and also represented Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

Trump’s Obsession with Hot Wives Narrows Down V.P. Picks

New reports reveal the nightmare short list for Donald Trump’s vice president—as well as just how disgusting Donald Trump really is.

Charly Triballeau/Pool/Getty Images

Trump’s search for a vice president pick is heating up as the Republican National Convention draws near with contenders recently receiving vetting materials, according to multiple outlets that have shared the new nightmare short list.

Team Trump has officially requested materials from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Senators J.D. Vance and Marco Rubio, according to ABC, with inquiries sent to Senators Tim Scott and Tom Cotton, Representatives Elise Stefanik and Byron Donalds, and former Trump HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Cue the tea leaves:

“Trump likes people who are rich and have hot wives,” a source unaffiliated with Trump’s campaign but reportedly closely following the veep search told Politico’s Playbook on Thursday. If wife hotness is a major factor in Trump’s search, Stefanik may still be in the running on the technicality that she’s the wife—although lacking in the platinum-blonde, spray-tanned aesthetic common among women in Trump’s orbit.

Trump plans to announce his choice for vice president at the RNC in July. And while Trump is reportedly still working from a “fluid” list of prospective candidates that changes day to day and the Trump campaign hasn’t offered any insights, a request for vetting materials is as strong an indicator as it gets—stronger, at least, than guessing whose wife Trump thinks is hotter. Regardless of who he picks, Trump’s short list is a mishmash of far-right figures hiring white supremacists, pushing bigoted policies, and floating racist conspiracy theories that are a threat to democracy.

Steve Bannon Finally Ordered to Surrender to Prison

Coup-plotter Steve Bannon has a matter of days before he will be behind bars.

Steve Bannon sits in the courtroom with his hands clasped. Two officers stand behind him.
Steven Hirsch/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It looks like Steve Bannon is going to prison.

U.S. District Judge Judge Carl J. Nichols on Thursday ordered the former Trump adviser and threat to democracy to report to prison by July 1 to serve his sentence for defying a congressional subpoena.

Bannon was held in contempt of Congress in October 2021 after he refused to respond to a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots. In July 2023, he was convicted on two contempt charges, and three months later was sentenced to four months in prison and a $6,500 fine.

Bannon appealed the sentence, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld his conviction last month, putting to end Bannon’s many attempts to flout and stall a ruling against him, including an attempt to turn the trial into a circus and stir up the MAGA faithful.

Speaking to reporters outside of the court on Thursday, Bannon said “all this is about one thing.”

“This is about shutting down the MAGA movement, shutting down grassroots conservatives, shutting down President Trump,” Bannon said. “Not only are we winning, we are going to prevail, and every number, every poll shows that. There’s nothing that can shut me up and nothing that will shut me up.”

Bannon was then interrupted by a heckler who yelled, “Fail! You’re going to jail.” The heckler also called Bannon a “coup plotter.”

Thursday’s news means that another one of MAGA’s most prominent voices will soon be behind bars.

Since Trump’s term ended, Bannon has attempted to interfere in Brazil’s politics as well as the upcoming election in the United States, and his radio show is a haven for far-right Republicans to rant about whatever they want. Now, after escaping prison once thanks to a Trump pardon over a border wall fraud scheme, he will soon be behind bars.

This story has been updated.

Watch: Byron Donalds Doubles Down on Twisted Jim Crow Comment

The Trump V.P. contender is doing anything he can to suck up to Donald Trump.

Byron Donalds speaking (closeup photo)
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Representative Byron Donalds isn’t backing down from his claim that Black Americans were better off under Jim Crow segregation.

Speaking to CNN’s Abby Phillip Wednesday night, Donalds repeated his claim, made Tuesday at a Republican outreach event in Philadelphia, that welfare and President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs had hurt Black families to the point that they were worse off than in the days of Jim Crow.

“Before the Great Society, before Lyndon Johnson’s policies, there was more Black families united,” Donalds said Wednesday. “The marriage rate in Black America was significantly higher before the Great Society. The period of time that coincides with that obviously is Jim Crow era.”

Phillip asked what the point was in tying together the Black family and Jim Crow specifically.

Donalds said he was only referring to the specific time period, repeating his contention that Black families were hurt by Johnson’s policies, stating that the Black family is being rejuvenated now, but he didn’t mention that those policies were later rolled back by other Democrats, like Bill Clinton.

As Phillip stressed that the Jim Crow era was a “period [of] racial segregation [and] racial terror,” Donalds responded by trying to claim that his words were being twisted.

“What you are dealing with right now is a political environment where now anything I might say or any major surrogate might say is going to be twisted into the lens of race,” Donalds said. “That was never the point.”

Phillip went on to ask Donalds three times if he regretted using Jim Crow as a historical comparison, as the Florida representative refused to answer.

Donalds’s comments Tuesday drew pushback from Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who called them an “ignorant observation.” The Congressional Black Caucus called on Donalds to apologize for his remarks in a statement.

“This is a pattern of embracing racist ideologies that we see time and again within the MAGA Republican Party,” the CBC said. “Rep. Donalds is playing his role as the mouthpiece who will say the quiet parts out loud that many will not say themselves.”

Donalds is said to be in contention to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate, but the convicted felon has not responded to the congressman’s comments. It’s anyone’s guess whether Trump’s own documented racism would lead him to appreciate or disapprove of Donalds’s contention.

Pathetic Republican Rep. Mocked for Wearing Undeserved Military Pin

Troy Nehls was never supposed to receive a Combat Infantryman Badge in the first place.

Troy Nehls holds up his fist
Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

House Republicans are taking their colleague Troy Nehls to task for a “stolen” military award, which he proudly sports on his suit jacket, NOTUS reported Thursday.

A CBS News investigation from May, which found that the Combat Infantryman Badge that Nehsl wears was actually revoked in March 2023. The honor, which is only for infantrymen or Special Forces members who fought in active combat, was mistakenly awarded to Nehls, who served as a civil affairs officer in Afghanistan. Nehls did not engage in combat, but he has continued to wear the badge regardless.

Nehls’s fellow Republican House members revealed to NOTUS that the Texas Republican’s decision to keep his faulty laurels does not sit well with them.

“That’s ridiculous. That’s stolen valor,” said Texas Representative Wesley Hunt, who wears a Combat Action Badge, awarded to anyone who “engages with the enemy.”

Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana also slammed his colleague for his unearned accolade: “As a former commander, it matters what you wear on your uniform. And if you didn’t earn it, you shouldn’t wear it,” he told NOTUS. Zinke is a former U.S. Navy Seal.

Other House Republicans expressed their strong disapproval of Nehls’s decision to keep wearing the pin.

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard as veterans,” said one GOP lawmaker, speaking anonymously to NOTUS. “He needs to stop wearing it.”

Another anonymous representative said the “shameful” accessory spoke to “deep insecurities,” and a third knocked it as an “abuse of power.”

Other lawmakers told the outlet that they intend to try to verify the report that Nehls’s award had been revoked. Representative Jack Bergman, a retired two-star general, said he would “trust but verify” the information using his military back channels.

The CBS Investigation and a Pentagon and U.S. Army Service review also found that Nehls had only been recorded as having one bronze star, as opposed to the two he claimed to have earned. Nehls has hit back at these reports, posting what appears to be evidence of his two stars to X (formerly Twitter), but CBS News was reportedly not able to verify the validity of the posted documents.

Besides his apparent “stolen valor,” Nehls is also known for loudly refusing to back President Joe Biden’s border bill earlier this year because it would “help” the president’s record on immigration, and complaining about Reprepresentative Cori Bush using some overtly racist tropes.

House Ways and Means Chair Can’t Even Explain What Hunter Biden Did

Representative Jason Smith couldn’t put together a coherent sentence.

Jason Smith looks forward
Tierney L. Cross/Bloomberg/Getty Images

House Republicans weren’t able to pin President Joe Biden with any concrete evidence of wrongdoing, and now they can’t even seem to explain what they thought he and his family did wrong in the first place.

The House GOP issued criminal referrals Wednesday for Biden’s son Hunter and brother James to the Justice Department, accusing the president’s family of lying to Congress and making a “conscious effort” to undermine the impeachment probe into the forty-sixth president. But by Thursday morning, a top Republican couldn’t pinpoint one thing that the pair did wrong.

“Well, let’s just start out,” Smith told Fox Business before tumbling headlong into a word salad. “The two IRS whistleblowers who came before the House Ways and Means Committee last year. They released over 1,500 pages of documents showing the influence peddling that was being sold all over—all over the world, in multiple countries, from Russia to Ukraine to China.

“And where we stand today is that we’ve seen an administration that has continued to obstruct our investigation,” the Missouri Republican continued. “And even to the sense that you saw James Biden and Hunter Biden lie to Congress. One of the first messages … that we ever released was the WhatsApp message that was between Hunter Biden and a Chinese business associate that was basically trying to shake him down for $5 million saying that he was seated next to his father.

“We asked Hunter Biden about that message directly, under oath, February 28, and he said it was another Zhao,” Smith said. Hunter Biden has previously denied sending the message while sitting next to his father, but did admit it may not have gone to its intended recipient. Hunter claimed he meant to send it to Raymond Zhao, the head of a Chinese energy company but may have sent it to another one of his contacts, Henry Zhao.

“Well, guess what, the IRS whistleblowers provided additional evidence showing three months of continuous messages to that same Zhao, which was the Chinese business associate,” Smith said. “Let’s hope the Biden administration treats anyone with the last name Biden the same way that they do Trump.”

Still, the sham inquiry to discredit Biden has been remarkably devoid of evidence. The committee’s former star witness, Alexander Smirnov, served as the singular source on claims that Biden had netted millions off his son’s connection to Ukrainian oil company Burisma.

But that angle, which House Republicans had believed was their best bet at nabbing the president, completely blew up in their face when Smirnov was indicted by the Department of Justice for lying to the FBI. Smirnov then reportedly admitted to law enforcement that top Russian intelligence officials were involved in the smear campaign against the sitting president. And all of the other witnesses that Republicans called on in their year-long probe instead debunked every single accusation against the Biden family.

50 Cent’s Follow-Up to Lauren Boebert Photo Is Somehow Even Funnier

We have 21 questions.

Getty x2

Do you still have love for 50 Cent? The rapper took to X (formerly Twitter) to respond to the more than 21 questions he provoked from fans on Wednesday after posting a photo of himself posing with disgraced far-right Representative Lauren Boebert—and it’s even more chaotic than the original photo.

First, here’s the original photo, where 50 Cent confuses the Capitol for the White House:

Tweet screenshot: 50 Cent

After that post went viral, 50 Cent responded:

50 Cent tweet screenshot

Cent’s post seems to be part of the game to make a move and then act a fool, as his post with Boebert raised predictable hackles and questions if the underground king was aspiring for a first date in a darkened theater with the infamous Boebert—or if he was just being a window shopper.

Regardless, the move raised awareness of his surprise appearance on Capitol Hill to show them what he’s got and to advocate for Black representation in the luxury liquor industry and Black entrepreneurship overall. Appearing alongside attorney Ben Crump, the underground king visited the Congressional Black Caucus and multiple members of Congress, saying the experience was “really positive.”

“I went to talk to [Congress] about economic opportunities for everybody,” said 50 Cent. “It’s really exciting. The response I got makes me feel like there are bright days ahead of us.”

Trump Warns He Has “Every Right” to Attack His Enemies

The former president promised yet again that retribution is coming.

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Donald Trump asserted that he has a “right” to send the Department of Justice after his political enemies, specifically President Joe Biden. 

In an interview Wednesday with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, the former president was asked to respond to critics who said he plans to weaponize the Department of Justice against his political enemies if he is elected president. To be clear, it wasn’t just critics who’d suggested the idea—Trump himself openly threatened to jail his political enemies earlier that day. 

“Number one, they’re wrong,” Trump replied, before proving them right. 

“It has to stop, because otherwise, we’re not going to have a country. Look, when this election is over, based on what they’ve done, I would have every right to go after them,” he said, remarking that suing Biden would be “easy” because of “all the criminality.”

Given his continued insistence that Biden is guilty of wrongdoing, for which the congressional impeachment investigation could not provide any evidence, it seems that Trump does intend to seek retribution against Biden if elected. That doesn’t sound like weaponization at all.  

“What they’re doing to me, if it’s going to continue, we’re really not going to have much of a country left. It’s really, it is weaponization. You call it lawfare, you call it—some people call it just warfare—but it is weaponization of the election,” Trump whined.

Trump himself said he’d be a dictator on day one of his presidency, and since he was convicted of 34 felony counts, his crusade for vengeance has only gotten more intense, which doesn’t bode well for if he eventually has command of the DOJ.