Faced with accusations that he improperly failed to disclose free trips provided by a wealthy friend, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is speaking out to defend his actions as some Democratic lawmakers call for an ethics investigation.

In a Friday statement, Thomas said he’d been advised early in his time on the court that disclosing trips with “dearest friends” was unnecessary, according to John Kruzel, who covers the Supreme Court for Reuters.

“Early in my tenure at the court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the court, was not reportable. I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with disclosure guidelines,” Thomas said.

He added that disclosure guidance has only recently been updated and that he’s not yet made disclosures under the new guidelines.

“It is, of course, my intent to follow this guidance in the future,” Thomas said.

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His remarks come in response to a in-depth report from ProPublica tracing the justice’s relationship with Harlan Crow, a “real estate magnate and Republican megadonor.”

ProPublica’s article, released Thursday, said Thomas has traveled multiple times on Crow’s private jet and superyacht at Crow’s expense, as well as to Crow’s ranch in East Texas and resort in the Adirondacks. It said Thomas likely should have provided details about these trips in the financial disclosures he makes as part of his work on the Supreme Court.

“These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas’ financial disclosures. His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said,” ProPublica reported.

In light of the article, some Democrats called on Thomas to resign from the Supreme Court, while others advocated for an investigation into Thomas’ approach to financial disclosures.

“This cries out for the kind of independent investigation that the Supreme Court — and only the Supreme Court, across the entire government — refuses to perform,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., according to Reuters.

Still others spoke more broadly about the Supreme Court’s disclosure guidelines, arguing that “the justices must be held to an enforceable code of conduct like other federal judges,” Reuters reported.

“The highest court in the land shouldn’t have the lowest ethical standards,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

As Thomas noted in his statement, recently approved rule changes make it clear that trips on private jets and other, similar gifts need to be disclosed moving forward.

“Gifts such as an overnight stay at a personal vacation home owned by a friend remain exempt from reporting requirements. But the revised rules require disclosure when judges are treated to stays at commercial properties, such as hotels, ski resorts or other private retreats owned by a company, rather than an individual. The changes also clarify that judges must report travel by private jet,” The Washington Post reported, noting that the revised rules took effect March 14.

In a statement to ProPublica, Crow, the wealthy Republican donor who’s played host to Thomas multiple times, said he and his wife have never discussed a pending case with the justice.

“We have never sought to influence Justice Thomas on any legal or political issue,” he said.