To determine the cost of the travel that billionaire Harlan Crow paid for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as reported in the April 6 ProPublica article, we used a variety of publicly available sources.
Air travel: We used an hourly rate of $15,000 to operate a Bombardier Global 5000 jet, which Crow uses to fly Thomas around the world, that was listed online by the Monarch Air Group. The company charters private jets.
We used several sites to determine the amount of time it takes to fly from one location to another. Prokerala.com determined the length of time to fly to New Zealand, where Thomas traveled for trip on Crow’s yacht, the Michaela Rose. Trip.com, flightsphere.com and Travelmath.com were also used to determine flight times.
We multiplied the amount of flight time by the hourly cost of chartering a Bombardier Global 500 to determine the cost of the flights.
Yacht rental: To determine the approximate costs of using a 162-foot luxury yacht like Crow’s Michaela Rose, we used publicly available rates on several websites, such as amare.co.nz and seizethedaycharters.com.
Lodging: ProPublica reported that Thomas spent a week a year for the last 20 years at Topridge, Crow’s home in New York’s Adirondack mountains. They compared the nightly cost of staying at Topridge with the minimum rate of $2,250 a night to stay at a nearby Rockefeller resort. Checks and Balances Project multiplied that nightly rate by seven to calculate the weekly cost of staying at Topridge and then multiplied the weekly rate by 20 to reach the total of $313,500.
Indonesia trip: $500,000
New Zealand trip: $583,000
Topridge lodging and hospitality: $313,500
Flights to Topridge: $600,000
Greek Islands trip: $519,750
Domestic flights: $540,000
Ray Locker is the executive director for Checks and Balances Project, an investigative watchdog blog holding government officials, lobbyists, and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP is provided by Renew American Prosperity and individual donors.
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