Sunday, November 27

Ginni Thomas Will Testify to Jan. 6 Committee — Here’s What We Know About Her Efforts To Overturn The Election


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Conservative activist Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will testify to the House January 6 Committee, she told the Daily Caller Thursday after chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the committee would seek her testimony, following a string of reports suggesting the justice’s wife supported efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, including corresponding with Trump attorney John Eastman.

Key Facts

The House January 6 Committee has obtained email correspondence between Thomas and Eastman, the Washington Post first reported Wednesday, as part of a tranche of documents a judge forced Eastman to turn over to the committee last week regarding his efforts to help Trump overturn his election loss.

the post reports the emails “show that Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known” but did not give any details about their contents, though Eastman himself claimed Thursday Thomas had merely invited him to speak to a group she’s involved with about his post -choice efforts.

Thomas also corresponded with then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, text messages previously obtained by the committee reveal, sending at least 21 texts to Meadows in the aftermath of the election encouraging efforts to overturn the results.

Thomas told Meadows to “make a plan” and “release the Kraken” by soliciting help from far-right attorneys like Sidney Powell, for instance, and said on November 4, 2020, Trump should not concede because “it takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.”

She also contacted 29 Republican Arizona lawmakers after the election and encouraged them to choose “alternate” electors who would say Trump won the state instead of President Joe Biden, according to emails reported by the post.

Thomas attended the rally on January 6 that preceded the attack on the Capitol building for a “short time,” she told the Washington Free Beacon in March, and the new yorker and New York Times reported she served as an “intermediary” between groups that organized the event in the lead-up to it, which Thomas denies.

What To Watch For

thompson told reporters Thursday “it’s time” the House January 6 Committee sought testimony from Thomas as a result of her correspondence with Eastman, and said after the committee’s hearing Thursday that lawmakers had already sent a letter to her requesting testimony. Thomas told the Daily Caller she would comply with their request from her, saying she “ca n’t wait to clear up misconceptions” and “look[s] forward to talking to them.” The committee had previously decided it would likely not call Thomas as a witness or make her post-election efforts a focus of its investigation, according to the post, but the publication reported Wednesday lawmakers had started discussing whether to include her as part of its public hearings following the emails with Eastman. Thomas’ connection to Eastman could make her involvement particularly notable, as a federal judge has already said it’s “more likely than not” Eastman committed illegal obstruction in his efforts to help Trump overturn the election.

Tangent

the Times reported Wednesday night that Eastman told the Trump campaign and a pro-Trump attorney to file a case disputing election results with the Supreme Court because he “understand[s] that there is a heated fight underground” between the justices over whether to take up post-election cases. The email was sent after the Supreme Court had already rejected multiple post-election lawsuits. the Times reports it’s still unknown what Eastman, himself a former clerk for Clarence Thomas, was basing his comments on the justices off of. (It may not have been Ginni Thomas, as the post notes false reports of arguments between the justices were circulating online at the time.) In response to Eastman’s email, lawyer Kenneth Chesebro reportedly said the “odds” of Supreme Court action on overturning the election “will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6.”

What We Don’t Know

Exactly how much Thomas did following the election. It’s still unclear if there are more text messages between Thomas and Meadows that did not get turned over to the House committee, for instance, and one of her messages mentioned “an email I sent Jared,” suggesting Thomas may have been in contact with others at the Trump White House like advisor Jared Kushner.

Chief Critics

“I can categorically confirm that at no time did I discuss with Mrs. Thomas or Justice Thomas any matters pending or likely to come before the Court,” Eastman wrote in a Substack post Thursday, saying the post report was based on “false innuendo.” Thomas has previously denied that she discusses her work with her husband or that she has any influence on his work with her as a justice. “Clarence does n’t discuss his work with me, and I do n’t involve him in my work,” Thomas told the Free Beacon in March, adding they “do not discuss cases until opinions are public—and even then, our discussions have always been very general and limited to public information.”

Key Background

Thomas has long been known as a political activist, but her work has come under more scrutiny in recent months in light of recent profiles in the Times and new yorker and as the conservative-leaning Supreme Court has taken up more political issues like gun control and abortion, as well as the reports on her post-election efforts. The criticism against Thomas has led to calls for her husband to recuse himself from any cases related to the 2020 election—and some on the left pushing for him to resign—particularly after Clarence Thomas was the only justice to dissent in a case concerning Trump documents being turned over to the January 6 committee. The justice has so far not made any commitment to recuse himself, and the court has not commented on Ginni Thomas, though some justices have otherwise spoken out in recent months against the general perception the court has become “politicized.” Ginni Thomas’s actions have helped contribute to a broader distrust among the American public in the Supreme Court, as polling shows trust in the institution has dropped to a new low. Has the court and/or Roberts commented at all on any of this? Let’s note that here.

further reading

Ginni Thomas corresponded with John Eastman, sources in Jan. 6 House investigation say (Washington Post)

Who Is John Eastman? The Attorney At The Center Of Trump’s January 6 Strategy. (Forbes)

Supreme Court Considered These Cases On The 2020 Election — As Justice Thomas’ Wife Ginni Wanted To Overturn It (Forbes)

Virginia Thomas—Wife Of Supreme Court Justice—Reportedly Pushed Trump’s Chief Of Staff To Challenge 2020 Election Loss (Forbes)

Ginni Thomas Urged 29 Arizona Lawmakers To Overturn Election Results—Dozens More Than Previously Known, Report Says (Forbes)

Ginni Thomas—Wife Of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—Went To The Jan. 6 Rally, She Says (Forbes)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Faces Calls For Hearings, Recusal, Resignation For Wife’s Texts About 2020 Election (Forbes)




www.forbes.com

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