"No mention of Ginni.' Conservative activist directed money to wife of Justice Clarence Thomas

WASHINGTON − A well-known conservative legal activist who has helped shape the modern Supreme Court arranged for the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas to receive tens of thousands of dollars for consulting work, according to a report Thursday in The Washington Post.

Leonard Leo, the former longtime vice president of the Federalist Society who helped President Donald Trump’s administration vet nominees for the high court, instructed GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill a nonprofit called the Judicial Education Project and to pay Virginia "Ginni" Thomas $25,0000, the Post reported. Leo made the request in 2012.

"No mention of Ginni, of course," the Post quoted Leo instructing Conway.

The Post reported that Conway's firm, the Polling Company, paid Ginni Thomas's firm $80,000 between June 2011 and June 2012 and expected to pay $20,000 more before the end of 2012. It was not clear what the money was for, though Leo told the Post in a statement that it "involved gauging public attitudes and sentiment."

The revelation was the latest in a series of reports in recent weeks about money and gifts Thomas and his family have received from outside interests. Earlier Thursday, ProPublica reported that GOP megadonor Harlan Crow had paid private school tuition for Thomas's grandnephew. Last month, ProPublica revealed new details about private jet travel and luxury yacht trips Thomas also accepted from Crow.

In his statement to the Post, Leo explained his desire to keep Ginni Thomas's name off the paperwork by asserting he has "always tried to protect the privacy of Justice Thomas and Ginni" because of how "disrespectful, malicious and gossipy people can be.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas listens as President Donald Trump speaks before administering the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after she was confirmed by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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