Legal experts were shocked on Thursday about revelations that the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol obtained text messages sent between Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Watergate reporter Bob Woodward reported on Thursday, "Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly pressed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in a series of urgent text exchanges in the critical weeks after the vote, according to copies of the messages obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News."
The story was matched by CNN.
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"The messages – 29 in all – reveal an extraordinary pipeline between Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, and President Donald Trump’s top aide during a period when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to negate the election results," The Post reported. "The messages, which do not directly reference Justice Thomas or the Supreme Court, show for the first time how Ginni Thomas used her access to Trump’s inner circle to promote and seek to guide the president’s strategy to overturn the election results – and how receptive and grateful Meadows said he was to receive her advice."
Robert Costa, who co-wrote The Post story with Woodward, wrote. "Woodward and I both see this as an unprecedented entanglement between a top official in the Exec Branch and the spouse of a Justice. They are privately discussing strategy, lawyers, managing WH staff, and conspiracy theories."
Legal experts quickly weighed in on the bombshell reporting, which came as Clarence Thomas may or may not still be hospitalized.
Adam Blickstein, who worked in public affairs for the Department of Justice, alluded to the situation when he noted, "We now have more information about Ginni Thomas' illegal attempt to overturn the 2020 election than we do about Clarence Thomas' current medical condition."
"One of the most important questions in politics right now: what did Clarence Thomas know, and when did he know it?" he asked.
Election law lawyer Rick Hasen described it as "astounding" and political scientist Norman Ornstein responded, "Clarence Thomas should resign."
Attorney and Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali did not think Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should wait for Thomas to resign, counseling that "Democrats should impeach Clarence Thomas." Former public defender Kumar Roa agreed, saying "Impeach Clarence Thomas."
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said, "this seems like a big deal."
"The Supreme Court voted 8-1 that Trump couldn't block the Jan 6th committee from getting docs. The one vote against was Clarence Thomas. Mark Meadows turned over texts from Thomas's wife Ginni Thomas urging efforts to overturn the election. What else was afraid would come out?" CREW wondered.
Former Southern District of New York prosecutor Richard Signorelli wondered if Ginni Thomas referenced her husband in the text messages.
"She is nuts. I would bet that the 'best friend' reference in her texts is her husband," he said.
Jane Mayer, who profiled Ginni Thomas in January for The New Yorker, agreed.
"After talking with her 'best friend,' which is how the Thomases refer to one another, Justice Thomas's wife militates relentlessly for the president's chief of staff to overturn a presidential election," Mayer wrote.
Slate legal correspondent Mark Joseph Stern was shocked when he went through the text messages.
"Ginni Thomas urged Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 election by any means necessary—while her husband was ruling on cases attempting to overturn the election. A truly extraordinary level of corruption," he wrote. "Look at the absolutely deranged conspiracy theories Ginni Thomas pushed. Fringe doesn’t begin to cover it. She promoted conspiracy theories from a Sandy Hook truther plus QAnon stuff."
Look at the absolutely deranged conspiracy theories Ginni Thomas pushed. Fringe doesn\u2019t begin to cover it. She promoted conspiracy theories from a Sandy Hook truther plus QAnon stuff. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/24/virginia-thomas-mark-meadows-texts/\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/loGmoz3kgW— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern) 1648157270
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