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Lawyer says Clarence Thomas groped her when she was a student in 1999

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An Alaska-based lawyer says that conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas groped her at a dinner party in 1999.

The National Law Journal reported Thursday that attorney Moira Smith posted on Facebook earlier this month that she was sexually assaulted by Thomas when she was 23 and a resident scholar at the Truman Foundation.

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Smith — now vice president and general counsel of Alaska’s Enstar Natural Gas Co. — said that Thomas grabbed and squeezed her buttocks multiple times at the Falls Church, Virginia home of her then-boss.

On October 7, as the rest of the world reeled from the revelation of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 2005 Access Hollywood audio tape, Smith quietly posted to Facebook about her encounter with Thomas.

“He groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’” she recalled.

The Journal contacted Smith’s housemates from 1999 and all three of them confirmed that Smith told them about the incident 17 years ago when it took place. The housemates all said that when Smith gave them the news, they had no idea what to tell her to do.

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Smith said that she had gone to the dinner thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to meet a Supreme Court justice, but came away with feelings of “shock and distress.”

When the Journal contacted Thomas’ office, the justice released a statement through a court spokeswoman that said, “This claim is preposterous and it never happened.”

Other guests at the dinner, when contacted by the Journal, “said they had no prior knowledge about any claim of untoward activity.”

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Thomas was confirmed to the court only after a contentious confirmation process in which Thomas’ employee Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment and sexualized bullying in the workplace.

Conservative media and its operatives immediately set about discrediting Hill, calling her emotional stability into question and accusing her of being an attention-seeking hysteric.

Thomas denied the allegations and was ultimately confirmed to the court in 1991.

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In an interview with the Journal, Smith said, “We now know that many men in power take advantage of vulnerable women. That willingness by men in power to take advantage of vulnerable women relies on an unspoken pact that the women will not speak up about it. Why? Because they are vulnerable. Because they are star-struck. Because they don’t want to be whiners. Because they worry about their career if they do speak out. But silence no longer feels defensible; it feels complicit.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

"But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign," The Times reported.

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