By Terrance Turner
March 24, 2022 (updated September 1)
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly urged White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 election in a series of text messages. That’s according to copies of messages obtained by CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.
The messages paint a picture of how Ginni Thomas used her influence within Trump’s inner circle to further the president’s strategy of overturning the election results, according to CBS News. The New York Times adds: “In the weeks between the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent a barrage of text messages imploring President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff to take steps to overturn the vote, according to a person with knowledge of the texts.
In one message sent in the days after the election, she urged the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” invoking a slogan popular on the right that refers to a web of conspiracy theories that Trump supporters believed would overturn the election.
In another, she wrote: “I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences.” She added: “We just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.”From “Ginni Thomas Pressed Trump’s Chief of Staff to Overturn Votes”
In another text, reported by The Guardian, Thomas wrote to Mark Meadows on 10 November: “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!! … You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is [sic] attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
CBS News reveals, “The messages were among the 2,320 text messages that Meadows provided the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. According to the Times, “The committee obtained 29 texts between Ms. Thomas and Mr. Meadows — 28 exchanged between Nov. 4 and Nov. 24, and one written on Jan. 10. The text messages, most of which were written by Ms. Thomas, represent the first evidence that she was directly advising the White House as it sought to overturn the election.”
The existence of messages between Thomas and Meadows — 21 sent by her; eight by him — have not previously been reported, but were reviewed by CBS News and The Post. They were then confirmed by five people who have seen the Jan. 6th committee’s documents.
Ms. Thomas has actively opposed the Jan. 6 committee and its work, co-signing a letter in December calling for House Republicans to expel Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from their conference for joining the committee. (Ms. Cheney was indeed removed from her post as House conference chair, then expelled from her own state party.) Ms. Thomas and her co-authors said the Jan. 6 investigation “brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law”, adding that they would start a nationwide movement against it.
From the Times: “The text traffic also suggests that Ms. Thomas was in contact with Jared Kushner, the former president’s son-in-law and adviser. Sidney Powell, the lawyer advising Trump’s campaign team known for unleashing wild theories about voting fraud, comes up repeatedly. On Nov. 13, [Donald] Trump included Ms. Powell in a tweeted list of his team’s lawyers.”
That same day, Ms. Thomas urged Mr. Meadows to support Ms. Powell, and said she had also reached out to “Jared” to do the same: “Just forwarded to y[ou]r gmail an email I sent Jared this am,” she wrote. “Sidney Powell & improved coordination now will help the cavalry come and Fraud exposed and America saved.” It was Powell that Thomas wanted to be “the face” of this anti-electoral campaign.
Though the texts do not mention Judge Thomas by name, there are questions as to whether he was aware of the texts — or whether he agreed with them. Though his wife previously insisted that she and her husband keep their work and opinions separate from their marriage, Mr Thomas contradicted those denials in previous comments: He once said his wife worked “24/7 every day in defense of liberty,” adding, “We are equally yoked, and we love being with each other because we love the same things.”
Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, told the Times: “The consequences of what she’s done is that I don’t think that Clarence Thomas can sit on any case involving, even remotely, the conduct of the election, the vote of Congress on Jan. 6, or any cases involving the Jan. 6 committee’s attempts to get information, including the committee’s efforts to get Eastman’s emails,” he said. “He must recuse himself, and should have recused himself in the cases that have been heard up to now.”
UPDATE (September 1, 2022): It turns out that Mrs. Thomas also messaged Wisconsin lawmakers in pursuit of overturning the 2020 election. According to the Washington Post, these messages were sent via email: “The new emails show that Thomas also messaged two Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin: state Sen. Kathy Bernier, then chair of the Senate elections committee, and state Rep. Gary Tauchen. Bernier and Tauchen received the email at 10:47 a.m. on Nov. 9, virtually the same time the Arizona lawmakers received a verbatim copy of the message from Thomas. The Bernier email was obtained by The Post, and the Tauchen email was obtained by the watchdog group Documented and provided to The Post.”
Thomas sent all of the emails via FreeRoots, an online platform that allows people to send pre-written emails to multiple elected officials. “Please stand strong in the face of media and political pressure,” read the emails sent Nov. 9, just days after major media organizations called the presidency for Biden. “Please reflect on the awesome authority granted to you by our Constitution. And then please take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen for our state.”