In wake of evidence revealing ties between Ginni Thomas — the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — and Donald Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has called for Clarence Thomas to resign.
Recent reporting has revealed that conservative activist Ginni Thomas played a role in organizing January 6 attackers, and attended the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House before the crowd marched to the Capitol. Last week, leaked texts revealed that she had encouraged Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to move forward with the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“Clarence Thomas should resign,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday. “If not, his failure to disclose income from right-wing organizations, recuse himself from matters involving his wife, and his vote to block the January 6th commission from key information must be investigated and could serve as grounds for impeachment.”
About a decade ago, Clarence Thomas failed to disclose payments to his wife from the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation, which had paid Ginni Thomas $680,000 over the course of four years. In his decades as a Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas has not recused himself from any case related to his wife’s right-wing activism. He was also the only justice to vote in January to grant Trump’s request to block the release of January 6-related presidential documents.
Ocasio-Cortez later warned on Twitter that if Democrats don’t take up a vote to impeach Clarence Thomas — a process that is similar to the impeachment process for presidents — they could face political consequences later.
When she and other Democrats pushed for Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 over his extortion of the Ukrainian government, Ocasio-Cortez said, some top Democrats were skeptical, saying that it would come back and hurt their party. But in hindsight, it would have been irresponsible for Congress to ignore the issue, and Democrats would have ended up shouldering the blame, she said.
“When we look back at the decision to impeach Trump over Ukraine today, could you imagine if the naysayers and those claiming to be ‘politically savvier’ won?” said Ocasio-Cortez. “WE would be explaining why we allowed it to happen instead of the Senate explaining why they acquitted.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued, tying Trump’s impeachment to the current situation with Clarence Thomas. “Often what seems like the righteous yet politically foolish thing short term ends up being the wisest choice long term,” she said. “All this is to say we shouldn’t dismiss actions available re: Clarence Thomas’s acts.”
A group of congressional Democrats sent a letter to the Supreme Court on Monday, asking for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases related to January 6 or the plot to overturn the 2020 election. “[G]iven the recent disclosures about Ms. Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election and her specific communications with White House officials about doing so, Justice Thomas’s participation in cases involving the 2020 election and the January 6th attack is exceedingly difficult to reconcile with federal ethics requirements,” the lawmakers wrote.