Press Releases

ICYMI: Politico’s Damning Timeline of Leonard Leo and Ginni Thomas’ Supreme Corruption

Sep 11, 2023

Yesterday, Politico uncovered the details of conservative kingpin Leonard Leo’s relationship with Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, and their intricate plot to capture the judiciary to restrict Americans’ freedom and promote their extreme agenda.

While the article exposed some of the corruption within the Supreme Court, there are still key questions that remain unanswered that the public deserves to know:

  • Did Justice Thomas give Ginni Thomas, Leonard Leo, and Harlan Crow advance knowledge of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United?

  • How much did Ginni Thomas earn from Leo and his dark money groups? 

    • Over what period of time did Leo direct money to Thomas?

    • What services did Thomas actually provide to Leo-aligned groups and was she paid at a fair market value?

    • What salaries did Justice Thomas refuse to disclose?

  • The Judicial Election Project (JEP)—one of Leo’s dark money groups—has spent at least $25 million on grants and expenses that went to unidentified individuals. Who received these millions of dollars and what services did they provide for JEP? 

  • Why did Ronald Cass—Leo’s friend—receive millions of dollars of donations for his conservative group despite being deauthorized as a nonprofit by the IRS? 

    • Has the group filed IRS forms required of nonprofits detailing revenues and expenditures? If not, have they paid taxes as a for-profit entity?

While these questions are just the tip of the iceberg, they need to be answered. Until then and until special interest groups are no longer allowed to hide in the shadows, the Court will continue to act in the interests of conservative billionaires.

Politico: What Ginni Thomas and Leonard Leo wrought: How a justice’s wife and a key activist started a movement

Heidi Przybyla


SEPT. 9, 2009

  • Oral arguments conclude in Citizens United.

NOV. 6, 2009

  • Cleta Mitchell files IRS application for Thomas’s Liberty Central Inc.

DEC. 31, 2009

  • Thomas signs paperwork to incorporate in VA listing Leonard Leo as a director. Harlan Crow donates $500,000 in seed money in the following weeks.

JAN. 14, 2010

  • Thomas request to incorporate in Virginia is approved.

JAN. 21, 2010

  • Supreme Court hands down Citizens United decision, with Justice Clarence Thomas objecting to disclosure rules.

FEB. 18, 2010

  • Thomas says she’s been “called to the frontlines” during a CPAC conference. (Crow holds event in Dallas in following weeks.)

OCT. 1, 2010

  • Liberty Central launches ad campaign targeting Obama agenda.

OCT. 9, 2010

  • Thomas leaves voicemail for Anita Hill demanding apology and comes under criticism for her advocacy group.

NOV. 15, 2010

  • It is reported that Thomas will step away from her Liberty Central leadership role but Leo says she’s made no decisions on the matter.

NOV. 16, 2010

  • An “expedited service request” to incorporate her consulting business in Virginia is approved.


  • Judicial Education Project, at Leo’s direction, reportedly pays Thomas up to $100,000 between June 2011 and June 2012.

  • JEP is reinstated (retroactively) to May of 2010.

  • JEP reports it received no more than $50,000 in 2011; yet Wellspring reports paying it $136,000.


  • JEP begins filing amicus briefs in numerous cases before the court including Obamacare, voting rights and affirmative action.

  • JEP reports receiving $1.5 million in anonymous money.

  • Cleta Mitchell leads “the charge to stoke” claims the IRS is targeting conservative nonprofits.


  • JEP becomes a major force in Leo’s empire of nonprofits funded by anonymous donors and, in 2014, former Justice Thomas law clerk Carrie Severino becomes its highest-paid director.

  • Rebranded as the 85 Fund in 2020, it goes on to allege irregularities around the 2020 election.

  • In 2021, The 85 Fund collects $117.3 million in anonymous funds.