By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 22, 2018 ~
The name of a confidential FBI informant, Stefan A. Halper, was revealed by a right-wing news website known as the Daily Caller News Foundation on Saturday. Curiously, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, wife of the sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has been collecting an undisclosed amount of compensation from the same nonprofit and its anonymous right-wing donors for years.
At 9:35 a.m. this past Saturday morning, the Daily Caller ran this headline: “Cambridge Professor Spied On Trump Campaign Advisers.” The very next day, President Donald Trump Tweeted the following: “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” Yesterday the Justice Department agreed to refer the matter to its Inspector General.
Trump’s narrative and that of the Daily Caller is to suggest that Halper was a “spy” inserted into the campaign by the Obama administration. Today’s Washington Post, however, characterizes Halper as “a well-connected veteran of past GOP administrations” who simply “assisted the Russian investigation.”
Clarence Thomas and his wife have previously come under scrutiny for ties to billionaire Charles Koch. Justice Thomas had secretly dined with Charles Koch and his wife, Elizabeth, at their private club in Indian Wells, California in 2008. The trip came in the same year that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate money in political campaigns. Charles Koch and his brother, David, are majority owners of Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in the world. As such, they had a keen interest in seeing that the Citizens United case was decided in favor of unlimited corporate spending.
While the Citizens United case was pending before the Supreme Court, people tied to Charles Koch helped Ginni Thomas set up a nonprofit front group called Liberty Central which was operated out of a post office box in Virginia. Ginni Thomas was paid at least $120,000 by Liberty Central which eventually morphed into Liberty Consulting, which continues to pay Ms. Thomas $15,000 to $50,000 per year according to the financial disclosure forms filed by her husband.
Those same financial disclosure forms, however, do not put a dollar amount on the compensation that Ms. Thomas is receiving from the Daily Caller News Foundation where she promotes a climate-science denying, pro-Trump, pro-Scott Pruitt agenda.
Media Matters has reported that the Daily Caller News Foundation has been previously listed as a “Partner Organization” of the Charles Koch Institute. Greenpeace reports that the Daily Caller News Foundation has received over $825,000 in donations from Koch foundations.
Ms. Thomas conducts interviews with people who fuel the Koch and/or Trump alternative reality. One video interview is headlined with this: “Scott Pruitt Ready To Help Trump Give America Better Environmental Outcomes, Economic Growth.”
In a February 2018 interview with Donald Trump Jr. (see video below) Ms. Thomas fed loaded questions to the President’s son, at one point asking: “What do you think about the left’s efforts to frame your Dad and anyone who supports your Dad as a hater, as a racist as a fascist. This is a cultural phenomenon and there’s fear spreading across the country of being able to say what you really believe.”
At another point she asks Trump Jr. to “Talk about the obvious press bias.” Ms. Thomas posted the following at the Daily Caller web page that carries the interview: “For more information on Donald Trump, Jr. join the 2.52 million following him on Twitter or like his Facebook page.” No press bias there, of course.
The Kochs’ tentacles have infiltrated every aspect of U.S. political campaigns and seriously compromised fair and free elections in the United States. Nothing meaningful is going to happen to restore democracy in the United States until there is a genuinely independent Truth Commission that unravels their insidious half-century of covert operations through front groups.