- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 27, 2016

An Alaskan lawyer has accused Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas of groping her at a 1999 dinner party.

Moira Smith, the vice president and counsel at Enstar Natural Gas Co., told the National Law Journal in an article published Thursday that the conservative justice grabbed her behind several times at a party at the Virginia home of Louis Blair, the former head of the Truman Foundation.

“He groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’” she alleged, the New York Daily News reported. “He was 5 or 6 inches down and he got a good handful and he kept squeezing me and pulling me close to him.”

Ms. Smith, now 41, was 23 years old and a Truman scholar at the time. She first wrote about the alleged incident in a Facebook post on Oct. 7, the night The Washington Post published a leaked 2005 recording of Donald Trump boasting about groping women.

Justice Thomas has denied the allegations, issuing a statement through the Supreme Court’s press office, The Post reported.

“This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” he said.

According to the Law Journal, friends of Ms. Smith remembered her telling them about the incident.

“Her three former housemates during the spring and summer of 1999 each said in interviews they remembered Smith describing inappropriate contact by Thomas after she came home that night from the dinner or early the next morning,” the publication’s Supreme Court reporter, Marcia Coyle, wrote.

Mr. Blair, who hosted the party, told the Law Journal that Ms. Smith never told him what happened, and he questioned whether Justice Thomas ever would have been alone with a dinner guest.

The allegation comes 25 years after Justice Thomas‘ former employee, Anita Hill, famously accused him of verbally sexually harassing her, causing his confirmation hearings to be reopened.

Justice Thomas denied Ms. Hill’s claims, calling the proceedings a “high-tech lynching,” and he was ultimately confirmed by a 52–48 vote on Oct. 15, 1991. There have been no similar accusations against him since, the Daily News reported.

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