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Tags: leonard leo | dick durbin | supreme court | subpoena

Leonard Leo Brushes Off 'Political' Senate Subpoena

By    |   Friday, 12 April 2024 03:29 PM EDT

Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the Federalist Society, said he will not comply with a subpoena investigating ethics at the Supreme Court, calling it politically motivated.

The subpoena was issued last October by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who began his investigation into the Supreme Court after revelations in Pro Publica that Justice Clarence Thomas failed to disclose luxury trips he took with a Republican megadonor.

Durbin said Leo has played a central role in the ethics crisis plaguing the Supreme Court.

"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."

Leo worked with Trump to nominate conservative judges such as Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Leo hit back at Durbin, saying Senate Democrats were engaged in "McCarthyism."

"I will not bow to the vile and disgusting liberal McCarthyism that seeks to destroy the Supreme Court simply because it follows the Constitution rather than their political agenda," Leo said last fall.

David Rivkin, Leo's attorney, has dismissed the subpoena and claimed Democrats are going after Leo as a form of political retaliation.

"For the reasons previously set forth, Mr. Leo is not complying with the Democrat Senate Judiciary Committee members' unlawful and politically motivated subpoena," Rivkin wrote in the letter to the committee.

Senate Republicans have cried foul, alleging Durbin violated committee rules by preventing Republicans from offering amendments and making the subpoena vote illegitimate.

"When Ranking Member [Lindsay] Graham, D-S.C., challenged this, Chairman Dubin refused to allow the challenge and proceeded to the vote," Senate Republicans said.  "Chairman Durbin proceeded with an illegitimate vote on the subpoena."

With Leo refusing to comply the subpoena, the Senate can seek civil enforcement of the subpoenas through court, but that step would require a full Senate vote, meaning the measure could stall with Republican resistance.

The Senate could also refer those who fail to comply to the Justice Department for prosecution, as the House did last year to hold several advisers of former President Donald Trump in criminal contempt for defying subpoenas.

Senate Judiciary Democrats approved legislation to force the justices to abide by stronger ethics standards, setting transparency rules, and enforcement on recusals, gifts, and conflicts of interest.

Senate Republicans have united against it, saying it could "destroy" the court.

Sam Barron

Sam Barron has almost two decades of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, crime and business.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the Federalist Society, said he will not comply with a subpoena investigating ethics at the Supreme Court, calling it politically motivated.
leonard leo, dick durbin, supreme court, subpoena
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2024-29-12
Friday, 12 April 2024 03:29 PM
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