Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, exchanged text messages with former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff during his final months in office, urging him to take action to overturn the legitimate outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Conservative activist Ginni Thomas sent at least 29 text messages to Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, between Election Day 2020 and January 2021, encouraging him to disregard the election results and to continue pushing false claims of fraud in order to keep Trump in office.
The text messages were included in documents that Meadows handed over to the select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
The attack occurred directly after Trump gave an incendiary speech to a mob of his loyalists, telling them that they would “never take back [the] country with weakness,” and instructing them to go to the Capitol while both houses of Congress were in the process of certifying the election. Although Ginni Thomas recently admitted that she had attended the “Stop the Steal” rally before the attack, she claims that she played no part in organizing the event.
However, her texts make it clear where she stood on the matter.
In a text she sent just days after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election by several news outlets, Thomas encouraged Meadows to help Trump “stand firm” against the legitimate outcome.
“You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice,” she wrote. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
Two weeks later, Meadows wrote to Thomas that “this is a fight of good versus evil,” telling her that he was doing what he could to keep Trump in office.
“The fight continues. I have staked my career on it,” Meadows said. “Well at least my time in DC on it.”
Thomas replied to Meadows: “Thank you!! Needed that!”
In another text, Thomas fretted over allowing Biden to be certified as the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election. “We just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade,” she said.
The texts also reveal that Thomas encouraged the Trump White House to “release the Kraken” — a reference to comments at the time from Trump-aligned lawyer Sidney Powell, who promised to release proof of fraud that would demonstrate the need to overturn the election. (Such proof never came about, and allegations of widespread election fraud have repeatedly been debunked)
“Sounds like Sidney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud,” Thomas texted Meadows in November. “Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.”
The texts between Thomas and Meadows don’t reference the work of Justice Clarence Thomas, but the exchanges do indicate a conflict of interest, especially considering the justice’s actions on the bench since then.
In a recent interview, Ginni Thomas defended her political work as being separate from her husband’s. “We have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too,” she said. “Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work.”
Clarence Thomas has never recused himself from any case that his wife was involved in. Supreme Court justices are encouraged to recuse themselves from cases where a conflict of interest may arise — specifically, “in any proceeding in which his [or her] impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” However, there is no law or regulation that requires them to do so, and the decision is left up to the individual justice themselves.
Notably, Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter in a Supreme Court case earlier this year, voting against all eight other justices in a matter regarding documents from the Trump administration that the January 6 committee sought to investigate.
Trump argued that those documents were protected by “executive privilege,” but the Supreme Court ultimately allowed a lower court’s ruling to stay in place, meaning that the documents could be shared with the committee.
Clarence Thomas’s dissent now appears to indicate a clear conflict of interest, commentators noted.
“What did Clarence Thomas know and when did he know it? Was Ginni Thomas abetting a coup? We need to find out,” said Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin.
The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) also weighed in on the matter, outlining a timeline of the events.
“Ginni Thomas texted Mark Meadows trying to get help in overthrowing the election,” the group wrote. “Trump tried to get the Supreme Court to stop Congress from getting docs about Jan 6. Meadows filed an amicus brief in support of Trump. Clarence Thomas was the only justice to vote to block the docs.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) criticized Clarence Thomas for not recusing himself from a case that involved his wife.
“Ginni Thomas can do whatever crazy things she wants. But Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas cannot rule on a case that would disclose the crazy things Ginni Thomas was doing,” Lieu said. “That was a clear conflict of interest. Justice Thomas once again dishonors the Supreme Court.”
Sarah Lipton-Lubet, executive director for Take Back the Court Action Fund, an organization that seeks to “inform the public about the danger that the Supreme Court poses to democracy,” called on Clarence Thomas to resign from his position as a result of the revelations regarding his wife’s texts seeking to overturn the election — and for Congress to take action if he doesn’t.
“Given that Justice Thomas has already made known he won’t recuse himself from cases related to his wife’s right-wing activism, and the damning evidence of his wife’s involvement in this attack on our democracy, Thomas is clearly unfit to serve on the nation’s highest Court,” Lipton-Lubet said. “Clarence Thomas must immediately resign from his seat on the Supreme Court. If he refuses, Congress must move to impeach him.”