Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, reiterated her belief that the 2020 election was stolen during her interview Thursday with the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.).
Her false assertion, nearly two years after Joe Biden’s victory, came during a five-hour closed-door interview with the committee.
Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, drew the attention of the committee after investigators obtained emails between her and lawyer John Eastman, who had advocated a fringe legal theory that Vice President Mike Pence could block the congressional certification of Biden’s electoral college win.
She also repeatedly pressed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to find ways to overturn the election, according to messages she sent to him weeks after the election. The messages represent an extraordinary pipeline between Thomas and one of Trump’s top aides as the president and his allies were vowing to take their efforts all the way to the Supreme Court.
The committee says it may use clips from her appearance, if they are warranted, in a future hearing. But lawmakers have not yet scheduled their next hearing as lawmakers head back home for recess on Friday.
Mark Paoletta, an attorney for Thomas, said in a statement that she appeared before the panel “to clear up the misconceptions about her activities surrounding the 2020 elections.”
“As she has said from the outset, Mrs. Thomas had significant concerns about fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election,” the lawyer said. “And, as she told the Committee, her minimal and mainstream activity focused on ensuring that reports of fraud and irregularities were investigated. Beyond that, she played no role in any events after the 2020 election results.”
The panel had previously contemplated issuing a subpoena to compel her testimony.
In an opening statement provided to the committee and obtained by The Washington Post, Thomas denied discussing her post-election activities with her husband. She also denied that he has ever discussed his work at the court with her.
“I can guarantee that my husband has never spoken with me about pending cases at the Court. It’s an iron clad rule in our home,” Thomas added. “Let me also add, it is laughable for anyone who knows my husband to think I could influence his jurisprudence — the man is independent and stubborn, with strong character traits of independence and integrity.”
Addressing her text messages to Meadows in the statement, Thomas claimed that her husband was “completely unaware” of her communications with the White House chief of staff “until this Committee leaked them to the press while he was in a hospital bed fighting an infection.”
She also described her post-election activities as “minimal.” The Post has previously reported that Thomas emailed state lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in November and December of 2020.
In emails sent via FreeRoots, an online platform that allowed people to send prewritten emails to multiple elected officials, Thomas urged the lawmakers to ignore Biden’s popular-vote victory and “choose” their own presidential electors.
The Jan. 6 insurrection
Congressional hearings: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of high-profile hearings to share its findings with the U.S. public. In what was likely its final hearing, the committee issued a surprise subpoena seeking testimony from former president Donald Trump. Here’s a guide to the biggest hearing moments so far.
Will there be charges? Committee chair Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said the committee will make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, though no decision has been made on the target of a referral.
The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.
Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6. Here’s what we know about what Trump did on Jan. 6.