U.S. Senate Republicans hold weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to the weekly Republican press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2023. Reuters

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday expressed support for the Supreme Court's chief justice as Democrats urge him to investigate luxury trips taken by Justice Clarence Thomas that were paid for by a Republican donor.

"I have total confidence in the Chief Justice of the United States to deal with these court internal issues," McConnell told reporters.

Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats, in a letter sent to Chief Justice John Roberts on April 10, said Thomas' conduct violated ethical standards.

The committee plans to hold a hearing on the matter but a date has not yet been announced.

ProPublica reported on April 6 that Thomas accepted expensive trips from Republican donor and real estate magnate Harlan Crow over decades without disclosing them.

Thomas defended the trips, saying he had been advised he was not required to report that type of "personal hospitality." But the conservative justice said he would abide by new, tighter rules that recently took effect.