Saturday, June 3, 2023

the last book I ever read (Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, excerpt five)

from Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson:

There was one jarring recollection in the generally positive picture painted by Thomas’s colleagues in the attorney general’s office. According to Andy Rothschild, now an attorney in St. Louis but then a friend and fellow lawyer, Thomas liked to taunt another member of the office, who was prim and painfully shy, by making outrageous, gross, and at times off-color remarks. “Clarence was loud and boisterous, kind of the office clown. He couldn’t help himself but to needle the guy – he just liked to get under his skin,” Rothschild recalled in an interview.

The target of Thomas’s taunting was John C. Ashcroft, who would later replace Danforth as attorney general and eventually become Missouri’s governor. A tightly wound, strait-laced teetotaler who was the son of a fundamentalist minister and who was himself a gospel singer and songwriter, Ashcroft was easily flustered by Thomas, according to a second colleage who also remembered such episodes. This apparently encouraged Thomas to goad him further.

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