Thomas lawyer disputes Senate Democrats’ claim on loan forgiveness – by: Lauren Sforza, The Hill – An attorney for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is disputing Senate Democrats’ claim that his client did not pay back a “significant portion” of a loan used to purchase a luxury motorcoach.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) published a memo Wednesday on findings looking into a loan agreement between Thomas and Tony Welters, which was first reported by The New York Times in August. The committee staff reviewed documents related to the loan and determined Thomas “did not repay a significant portion of the loan principal” and paid only interest on the $267,230 debt.

The memo claimed the documents the committee reviewed, which were provided by Welters, suggested the loan for the motorcoach was forgiven. However, a lawyer for Thomas said in a statement that is inaccurate.

“The loan was never forgiven. Any suggestion to the contrary is false. The Thomases made all payments to Mr. Welters on a regular basis until the terms of the agreement were satisfied in full,” Elliot Burke said in the statement.

When reached for further comment, Wyden doubled down on the findings and called on Thomas to provide evidence to the committee that backs up his attorney’s statement.

“The committee’s investigation is clear: The person who loaned Justice Thomas $267,000 provided numerous documents indicating that a substantial portion of that debt was never repaid,” Wyden said in a statement.

“If Justice Thomas disputes that conclusion he has an obligation to provide proof to the committee. Carefully worded statements from high-priced lawyers are not a substitute for facts,” he added.

The memo conceded that more information concerning the loan may exist and that its information is based on what documents were provided to the committee.

“While additional documents pertaining to the loan agreement may exist and provide more clarity to the agreement, none of the documents reviewed by Committee staff indicated that Thomas ever made payments to Welters in excess of the annual interest on the loan,” it said.