Several lawyers who have had business before the supreme court, including one who successfully argued to end race-conscious admissions at universities, paid money to a top aide to Justice Clarence Thomas, according to the aide’s Venmo transactions. The payments appear to have been made in connection to Thomas’s 2019 Christmas party.
The payments to Rajan Vasisht, who served as Thomas’s aide from July 2019 to July 2021, seem to underscore the close ties between Thomas, who is embroiled in ethics scandals following a series of revelations about his relationship with a wealthy billionaire donor, and certain senior Washington lawyers who argue cases and have other business in front of the justice.
Vasisht’s Venmo account – which was public prior to requesting comment for this article and is no longer – show that he received seven payments in November and December 2019 from lawyers who previously served as Thomas legal clerks. The amount of the payments is not disclosed, but the purpose of each payment is listed as either “Christmas party”, “Thomas Christmas Party”, “CT Christmas Party” or “CT Xmas party”, in an apparent reference to the justice’s initials.