The recent allegations that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has groped numerous women over the years has inspired an attorney from Alaska to come forward with her claim that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas groped her at a dinner party in 1999.
Moira Smith says that when she was just 24 and a Truman Foundation scholar in Washington she was invited to a dinner party where Justice Thomas was also a guest, reports TIME. Smith says that she was excited about the opportunity to meet Clarence Thomas. Smith openly shared her encounter with Thomas on her Facebook page. She says when she first met him she found him to be charming, charismatic, and approachable. Smith says that Thomas suggested that she sit next to him at a table. After agreeing and sitting down beside him, Smith says that Thomas then groped her.
Smith says that she was alone with Clarence Thomas, but “only briefly.” She adds that she was sitting on his right when Thomas cupped his hand around her butt and pulled her towards him. She says that Thomas asked her where she was seated and she said at a different table. At that time Smith says that Thomas grabbed her butt again and asked her if she was sure. She says she told him “yes” and that was the end of the incident, reports Bloomberg.
Clarence Thomas is marking his 25th anniversary of his joining the Supreme Court. He recently released a statement calling Smith’s accusations “preposterous.”
Thomas’ confirmation to the high court in 1991 almost didn’t happen after Anita Hill made allegations that he sexually harassed her when they worked together at the Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Louis Blair, the head of the Truman Foundation and the host of the dinner party, says that he was busy in the kitchen preparing food and had not seen or heard anything about Smith’s allegations.
The National Law Journal found three of Smith’s friends that recalled her telling them about the incident not long after it took place. Amy Hertel Buckley, who helped Smith set up tables at the party, says that she did not see anything, but that Smith had described Clarence Thomas groping her after the dinner party.
Smith is a graduate of UC Berkeley Law School. She is also the vice president and general counsel for Enstar Natural Gas Company. She is married to Jeff Metcalfe a former chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Smith says that after listening to Donald Trump brag about groping women without their consent and hearing his accuser’s stories she decided that she should speak out. Smith says that far too often men in power like Clarence Thomas take advantage of women who are vulnerable.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy U.S. Supreme Court