It was last week when the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack finally reached an agreement with Ginni Thomas after lengthy negotiations, paving the way for an interview. Yesterday, as NBC News reported, the right-wing activist showed up on Capitol Hill.
Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, told the House Jan. 6 committee Thursday that she still believes the 2020 election was stolen, the panel’s chairman said. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., didn’t give many other details about the interview.
NBC News obtained her opening statement, in which Thomas emphasized a claim that she and her husband did not discuss her post-election antics.
“Regarding the 2020 election, I did not speak with him at all about the details of my volunteer campaign activities. And I did not speak with him at all about the details of my post-election activities, which were minimal, in any event,” Thomas said in her statement. “I am certain I never spoke with him about any of the legal challenges to the 2020 election, as I was not involved with those challenges in any way.”
Whether these assertions were true or not is unclear, but it was a related statement from Thomas’ attorney that stood out as especially notable.
According to her lawyer, Thomas “answered all of the committee’s questions” and told investigators about her “minimal and mainstream activity.”
To be sure, there’s some room for debate about what constitutes “minimal and mainstream,” but as we’ve discussed, Thomas’ post-election efforts appear to have been far more ambitious than this statement suggested.
We are, after all, talking about a prominent right-wing activist who contacted dozens of state legislators in battleground states, urging them to ignore vote totals and overturn the results.
Soon after, Thomas attended the pre-riot “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6. Separate reports in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine added that she might have played an organizing role in the pro-Trump gathering just south of the White House.
She also had extensive communications with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, with whom Thomas discussed strategies to overturn the election results. Thomas also reportedly pressured congressional Republicans to do more to overturn the election, including calling on lawmakers to go “out in the streets.” By some accounts, she even reached out to Jared Kushner about legal options surrounding the larger offensive.
This is not a situation in which the spouse of a sitting justice simply expressed political opinions. As The New York Times explained, the text messages between Thomas and Meadows “demonstrated that she was an active participant in shaping the legal effort to overturn the election.”
Let’s not forget that she was also in touch with Trump lawyer John Eastman about his highly controversial and legally dubious strategies to overturn the election results.
Whether Thomas was able to testify in a constructive way about any of this is unclear; neither she nor the bipartisan committee went into any details after her closed-door testimony. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say her behind-the-scenes efforts to help derail the transition of power went beyond “minimal and mainstream activity.”