Lawyer: Clarence Thomas Groped Me at Party

Moira Smith says she felt 'powerless' after 1999 incident
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2016 12:33 AM CDT
Lawyer Says Clarence Thomas Groped Her at Party
In this Jan. 26, 2012, photo, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(Newser) – Another accuser says she decided to come forward because of Donald Trump's remarks about woman—but she's accusing Clarence Thomas, not Trump, of groping her. Alaska lawyer Moira Smith says she was a 23-year-old Truman Foundation scholar in Washington when the Supreme Court justice touched her inappropriately at a dinner party in 1999, the Washington Post reports. "I was setting the place to his right when he reached out, sort of cupped his hand around my butt and pulled me pretty close to him," Smith tells the National Law Journal. "He said, 'Where are you sitting?' and gave me a squeeze. I said, 'I'm sitting down at the garden table.' He said, 'I think you should sit next to me,' giving me squeezes."

Smith—whose former roommates tell the Journal they remember her talking about the incident—says she felt powerless to do anything at the time but is coming forward now because "sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault continue to be pervasive," the New York Times reports. Anita Hill's accusation of sexual harassment almost cost Thomas his Supreme Court confirmation, which was 25 years ago this week, the Post notes. His supporters described Smith's accusations as a politically motivated attack. Through a spokeswoman, Thomas told the Journal: "This claim is preposterous and it never happened." (Read more Clarence Thomas stories.)

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