The independent presidential candidate received a $3,300 donation from the Republican megadonor known for his relationship with Clarence Thomas
Republican megadonor Harlan Crow gave a maxed-out individual campaign contribution to progressive independent candidate Cornel West. Crow, who in recent months has been under scrutiny over his longtime financial relationship with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has also donated to Republican candidates, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.
According to Federal Election Commission filings reviewed by NBC News, West received $3,300 from Crow in August, the maximum donation allowed by an individual to a campaign. At the time, West was running as a candidate for the Green Party, he has since switched to an independent run.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal Crow, a prolific donor to conservative causes, called West a “close friend.” Now more than ever, Crow’s political friendships have been the subject of widespread scrutiny.
Beginning in April, ProPublica released a series of reports detailing Crow’s relationship with Justice Thomas. Over the span of two decades, Crow showered Thomas with luxury vacations, rides on his private jet and superyacht, and lavish gifts. Crow even purchased properties from Thomas and footed the private school tuition bill for his foster child. Virtually all of these perks were unreported to ethics regulators, even as Crow continued to be a powerful player within conservative political circles.
Thomas denied any impropriety, claiming Crow was among his “dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years.” The justice added that he had been advised he did not need to report “this sort of personal hospitality,” and would be more diligent in the future.
Independent candidates like West may play a major role in the upcoming election. Biden challenger RFK Jr. recently switched his own affiliation from Democrat to independent, and in the process spooked Republican circles who fear his growing appeal on the right may siphon votes away from GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. The role of third-party candidates presenting an alternative to voters disillusioned with Biden and Trump could play a decisive role in 2024.