Clarence Thomas ruled against student debt relief. Now a Senate panel alleges his healthcare exec pal forgave his $267,230 loan.

  • A Senate committee found that Clarence Thomas had a substantial loan forgiven by a wealthy friend in 2008.

  • Thomas' friend, healthcare exec Anthony Welters, loaned him over $260,000 that Thomas used to purchase a luxury RV.

  • The findings came four months after Thomas joined a majority Supreme Court opinion striking down Biden's student debt forgiveness plan.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ruled this year that Joe Biden was wrong when he tried to forgive college students' loans, but a Senate panel revealed that Thomas had a substantial loan of his own forgiven by a wealthy friend.

Thomas joined a majority opinion in June that struck down the White House's student debt relief plan and found Biden overstepped his authority.

Just two months later — as ethics questions swirled around the conservative justice over his cozy relationship with rich friends — the New York Times reported that Anthony Welters, a healthcare executive who is a close friend of Thomas', loaned the justice money in 1999 and that Thomas used it to purchase a luxury RV that cost $267,230.

And this week the Democrat-run Senate Finance Committee revealed that while Thomas made interest payments on the $267,230 loan, but never repaid a "substantial portion" of it.

The panel found that Welters forgave the loan, writing a note to Thomas in 2008 saying that he would not seek further payments on it. Thomas never paid back any of the principal on the loan, the senators wrote.

The Senate Finance Committee said Thomas didn't report the loan on his ethics forms.

"Regular Americans don't get wealthy friends to forgive huge amounts of debt so they can buy a second home," Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the chairman of the committee, said in a statement accompanying the committee's findings. "Justice Thomas should inform the committee exactly how much debt was forgiven and whether he properly reported the loan forgiveness on his tax returns and paid all taxes owed. I have also directed the committee to share our findings with the Judiciary Committee to evaluate the ethics implications of this disclosure."

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