Stories Chosen For You
'Still promoting that lie': Jamie Raskin says Ginni Thomas remains a true believer in Trump's election claims
WASHINGTON — Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was on Capitol Hill Thursday to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Earlier this year, the committee revealed that Thomas was part of an effort to block the certification of President Joe Biden's 2020 election win. Among other things, Thomas showed up in text messages to Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and pressured Arizona lawmakers to use the power of the legislature to change the state's electoral votes from Joe Biden to Trump.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that Thomas still firmly believes that the 2020 election was stolen.
Speaking to Raw Story, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said that "Trump and his closest followers speak to you to propound the lie that he won the election and they're still promoting that lie."
Raskin explained that while Thomas's testimony is important to know her piece in the attempt to overthrow the election, she's also just one of many of those who did the same thing.
"Remember we talked to more than 1,000 people the basic elements of this assault on American democracy are well known," Raskin said. "We know all of the different overtures that Trump made to state legislatures, to state election officials, to the vice president to orchestrate a political coup and we also know about the messages he sent out to domestic violent extremist groups and his followers to set the stage for a violent insurrection of the country. So all of that is there and what we're working toward in our final hearing is trying to supplement some of the missing details."
"So, I'm very interested in the private groups, in the self-proclaimed militia groups, and the threat that they pose not just to the U.S. Capitol but to state legislatures, to school boards, to election boards, institutions, and election officials in our country," Raskin continued.
He went on to say that he's concerned about the use of social media to promote conspiracy theories that ultimately lead to violence. QAnon conspiracies have flourished on Trump's personal site Truth Social and there have been two acts of violence from QAnon followers in the past several weeks.
"It can be used to fill their minds with propaganda and coordinate an assault on the U.S. government," Raskin said, in addition to the positive aspects like the Arab Spring. "So, what are we going to do about that?"
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) claimed that calling in Thomas to testify was just another tactic by Democrats to bring down the Supreme Court.
"I don't know what she's got to offer," said Cornyn. "But apparently she volunteered to come tell what — to answer their questions. So, good for her. I've never seen that before. Unfortunately, we've seen pretty much an all-out effort to delegitimize the Supreme Court by Democrats if they make decisions they don't like and I think that's irresponsible and it's led to threats of the lives of the justices themselves and their families, which is reckless. So, I'm concerned about how political it's gotten."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the whole Jan. 6 committee a "one-sided political affair and it's coming across as that. We're getting in kind of unusual land here."
Raskin said that there continues to be information coming in and that the fundamental elements have not changed its just more and more evidence that confirms the information they have.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) called Ginni Thomas "part of the web" of the conspiracy and noted that her husband appears to be part too. He went on to call it a conflict of interest that Clarence Thomas voted on a case that involved his wife.
Justice Thomas was the top of mind for Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) too, who said that there are a number of questions that she has about the conversations Thomas was having with his wife. When Raw Story noted that Republicans were miffed by the J6 committee bringing Thomas in for questions, Hirono said simply, "no one is above the law."
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) called Ginni Thomas a "non-factor" but then noted, "she hasn't seen anything yet." When Raw Story asked him what he meant, he said simply, "It's going to be interesting."
The committee has been showing clips of videos of previous interviews when they have public hearings. It's unclear if Ginni Thomas refused to be filmed or taped as part of her interview or if she was happy to be public about her involvement.
Chairman Thompson hasn't released the date for the make-up hearing that was canceled due to Hurricane Ian hitting Florida this week.
In a court filing this Thursday, New York Attorney General Leticia James revealed her intention to start court hearings for her civil suit against the Trump family for business fraud as early as next year, The Daily Beast reports.
“OAG intends to seek an expedited preliminary conference to set a trial date before the end of 2023. Allowing for an expedited trial schedule on an enforcement proceeding after extensive litigation over subpoena enforcement is precisely the circumstance that warrants keeping this case before Justice Engoron in the interests of judicial economy,” wrote assistant attorney general Kevin Wallace.
After years of Donald Trump and his family's efforts to slow down the investigation, James filed a $250 million civil suit against the Trump Organization.
While no criminal charges will result from the civil trial, it will likely damage Trump's plan for a political comeback if the prosecution is successful.
James' suit seeks to "strip the Trump Organization of its business credentials and bar it from borrowing money from any bank in New York—arguably the financial capital of the world. On top of that, a $250 million verdict against the company and its top officers could severely harm Trump’s finances and choke off the very corporation that propelled him into national stardom," according to The Daily Beast.
In his filing, Wallace argued that since the case involves "allegations of an ongoing scheme and conspiracy to obtain millions of dollars through fraudulent activity, and that defendants repeatedly have sought to delay the conclusion of OAG’s investigation, it is imperative that this case proceed quickly."
Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.
The U.S. Supreme Court will be examining two cases having to do with voting rights, and both of them are from southern states: Moore v. Harper from North Carolina, and Merrill v. Milligan from Alabama. The High Court will begin hearing Merrill v. Milligan on October 4, and both cases, according to Politico’s Zach Montellaro, “could reshape the 2024 election.”
“One lawsuit out of North Carolina could have broad ramifications, with Republicans asking the Supreme Court to revoke the ability of state courts to review election laws under their states’ constitutions,” Montellaro explains in an article published on September 29. “The reading of the Constitution’s Elections Clause that underpins the case — called the ‘independent state legislature’ theory — has gotten buy-in from much of the conservative legal world, and four Supreme Court justices have signaled at least some favorability toward it.”
Montellaro continues, “The decision in the case could upend American elections. And another case out of Alabama that will be heard on Tuesday, (October 4) involves a challenge to the state’s congressional map — and whether Black voters’ power was illegally diluted. The result could kick back open congressional redistricting in several states two years after the entire nation went through a redraw.”
The most severe form of the “independent state legislature” theory argues that state legislatures alone should determine how elections are run in a state — not judges, not governors, not state supreme courts.
“Practically, the results of the cases could open the door to even more gerrymandering by legislators around the country,” Montellaro notes, “and they could also give legislatures even more power within their states to determine rules for voting — including how, when and where voters could cast their ballots…. In both cases, Republican litigants are looking to reverse lower court orders — a federal court in Alabama and the state Supreme Court in North Carolina — that threw out political maps drawn by GOP-controlled legislatures.”
Rick Hasen, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) law professor known for his election law expertise, told Politico, “This term has the potential to be a blockbuster term in terms of election law, but it really depends on how far the Court is willing to go.”
Eric Holder, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Barack Obama and now chairs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, believes that both cases have huge implications for the wellbeing of U.S. democracy.
Holder told Politico, “You cannot look at these cases objectively, without acknowledging the fact that taken together, they could determine whether or not the United States remains as the democracy that we have come to love. I think, unfortunately, we take for granted a democracy that fulfills the promise of one person, one vote.”