According to emails acquired by The Washington Post, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, encouraged Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to disregard Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and elect “a clean slate of Electors.”
Ginni Thomas sent a pair of politicians emails on Nov. 9, 2020, arguing that the vote had been tainted by fraud and that legislators should intervene. Despite the fact that she did not name either contender, the context was evident.
Thomas asked Congress to “stay firm in the face of political and media pressure” just days after media groups declared the race for Biden in Arizona and across the country. She told lawmakers that selecting electors was She told the lawmakers the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and said they had the “power to fight back against fraud.”
According to a study of the emails obtained under the state’s public-records law, Thomas sent the messages using an online platform designed to make sending prewritten form emails to several political officials simple.
The conversations reveal that Thomas, a fervent Trump supporter, was far more involved in the drive to reverse Biden’s victory than previously acknowledged. Thomas contributed to the remarkable conspiracy to retain Trump in power by substituting the will of lawmakers for the will of voters by sending the emails.
Thomas’s activities also highlight worries about potential conflicts of interest that her husband has already encountered — and may face in the future — when it comes to cases involving attempts to overturn the 2020 election. These doubts were raised again in March, when The Washington Post and CBS News uncovered text conversations made by Thomas to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in late 2020, pleading with him to help overturn the election.
The emails were addressed to Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers and Shawnna Bolick, who was initially elected to the chamber in 2018 and sat on the House Elections Committee during the 2020 session.
“Article II of the United States Constitution gives you an awesome responsibility: to choose our state’s Electors,” read the Nov. 9 email. “… [P]lease take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen.”
On Dec. 13, the day before members of the electoral college met to cast their votes and clinch Biden’s triumph, Thomas’ name appears on an email to the two representatives. “Think about what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead before you choose your state’s Electors,” the email added.
It provided a link to a video of a guy addressing swing-state politicians, encouraging them to “make things right” and “not succumb to cowardice.”
“You have only hours to act,” said the speaker, who is not identified in the video.
By December, John C. Eastman, a former law clerk to Clarence Thomas, and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, were actively advocating for legislators to override popular voting in critical states and appoint Trump’s electors.
Trump supporters asserted that due to pandemic-era changes in election administration and alleged widespread fraud, elections were not performed in line with state legislatures’ instructions, and so the results could be overturned under the US Constitution. Those arguments were deemed unpersuasive and anti-democratic by many legal experts, and no state legislature agreed. The congressional committee examining the January 6, 2021 insurgency is looking into efforts to persuade state legislators to select new electors.
Hundreds of lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election result were dismissed by the courts, and there is no evidence of massive voting machine fraud.
Can we please get lectured again about how the institutions of our democracy shouldn’t be “bullied”? https://t.co/mtbl2diRnL
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 20, 2022
Ginni Thomas did not return messages seeking comment.
Clarence Thomas did not answer the messages left for him by a Supreme Court spokesperson.
Ginni Thomas has emphasized that she and her husband keep their professional lives separate, yet her political activism sets her distinct from other Supreme Court spouses. She and Stephen K. Bannon, who eventually became the Trump White House’s top strategist, were among the organizers of Groundswell, an organization founded to combat liberals and establishment Republicans, about a decade ago. According to emails obtained by Mother Jones at the time, Groundswell was committed to “a 30 front war trying to profoundly alter the nation.” According to the emails, one of the first issues covered by the group was “election integrity.”
Why is Ginni Thomas still a federal employee? https://t.co/Z5yw38q77S
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) May 19, 2022
During Trump’s presidency, Thomas’s influence in Washington rose as her beliefs became more mainstream. In 2018, Clarence and Ginni Thomas had lunch with Trump at the White House, and the following year, they attended a state dinner. She and other right-wing activists also attended a White House luncheon in 2019, where they told Trump’s advisors that their favored candidates for administration jobs were being blocked.
During those years, Thomas presented “Impact Awards” to right-wing figures at annual luncheons. Meadows, then a congressman who chaired the hard-right Freedom Caucus, Project Veritas creator James O’Keefe, and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity were among the recipients.
— Indivisible Northern Nevada (@IndivisibleNNV) May 20, 2022
Thomas is a member of the Council for National Policy, a group of notable conservative activists, some of whom assisted in the election fraud investigation. She recently stated that she attended a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021, at the Ellipse in Washington.