Alaska attorney accuses high court justice of groping in 1999
WASHINGTON — Allegations that GOP nominee Donald Trump groped numerous women have prompted an Alaska attorney to go public with a claim that she was briefly grabbed at a 1999 dinner party by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Moira Smith, then 23 and a Truman Foundation scholar in Washington, said she was invited to a dinner party with more than a Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas calls the accusation “preposterous.” dozen others, including Thomas.
“I was so incredibly excited to meet him, rough confirmation hearings not- withstanding,” she wrote on her Facebook page this month. “He was charming in many ways, giant, booming laugh, charismatic and approachable. But to my complete shock, he groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him.’ ”
Smith told the National Law Journal that she was briefly alone with Thomas.
“I was setting the place to his right when he reached out, sort of cupped his hand around my butt and pulled me close to him,” Smith said. “He said, ‘Where are you sitting?’ and gave me a squeeze.”
Smith said she replied that the host had assigned her a seat at another table. “He one more t i me squeezed my butt, and he said, ‘Are you sure?’ I said yes, and that was the end of it.”
Thomas, who is marking the 25th anniversary of his joining the high court, issued a statement in response saying, “This claim is preposterous, and it never happened.”
Thomas’ 1991 confirmation was nearly derailed by allegations from attorney Anita Hill that he sexually harassed her when they worked together at the Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Louis Blair, who was then head of the Truman Foundation and hosting the dinner at his home in Virginia, told the journal he had not seen or heard of Smith’s allegation. He said he was busy in the kitchen preparing the dinner and that he was “skeptical that the justice and Moira would have been alone.”
Smith is a vice president and general counsel for Enstar Natural Gas Co. Her husband, Jake Metcalfe, was formerly the chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party.
“We now know that many men in power take advantage of vulnerable women,” Smith said in the National Law Journal interview.