ProPublica Reporter Defends Work After Samuel Alito Accuses Outlet of Politically Motivated Coverage

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, caught on a secret recording, recently attacked ProPublica for its reporting on Supreme Court ethics. The nonprofit investigative news outlet has spearheaded coverage of possible conflicts of interest among judges on the nation’s top court, including Justice Clarence Thomas, who has accepted millions in gifts and trips from conservative billionaires. Alito told a filmmaker posing as a conservative activist that ProPublica “gets a lot of money” to dig up “any little thing they can find,” suggesting the reporting was politically motivated. That notion “is just wrong,” says Justin Elliott, one of the lead ProPublica journalists reporting on the Supreme Court. “We took a very hard look at the Democratic-appointed justices, and we simply haven’t found anything close to similar to what we found when it came to Justice Thomas and Justice Alito.” He also says the Senate Judiciary Committee has power it is not currently using to investigate the court amid the ongoing ethics scandal. “There’s really no reason to believe that we actually know all the facts about what these justices have gotten.”

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