Ginni Thomas, the wife of the stoutly conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who played a pivotal role in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election, now faces the threat of a subpoena to force her to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee.
During a Sunday-morning TV appearance on CNN’s State of the Union show, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) told host Jake Tapper that the committee continues to negotiate with the well-connected conspiracy theorist’s lawyer in an attempt to get her to testify about her role in the insurrection.
Cheney said “the committee is engaged with her counsel” and have been trying to get her to appear for weeks.
“I certainly hope she’ll do so voluntarily,” she said. “But the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not.”
Her lawyer did not respond to a request for comment Sunday morning.
The committee sent her an interview request in a June 16 letter but that was outright rejected in a formal reply on June 28 signed by her lawyer, Mark R. Paoletta. In the response letter, Paoletta told the committee “there is no story to uncover here” and questioned the committee’s mission by waving around his own credentials as the former top investigative lawyer with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he worked on nearly 200 investigative hearings over a decade.
Thomas, a long-time conservative activist, has come under scrutiny over the way she personally pressed Arizona legislators to keep former President Donald Trump in power.
Thomas emailed about the coup plot with John Eastman, the kooky conservative lawyer who developed the dubious plan to reverse Joe Biden’s presidential victory by having Trump loyalists in Congress simply refuse to certify the electoral college votes. And she also texted with Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, about her deranged belief that the “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators… are being arrested and… will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”
Given Thomas’ proximity to some of the nation’s most powerful politicians, the Jan. 6 Committee investigating the insurrection wants to further probe her communications. They could develop a clearer picture of the way the wife of a Supreme Court justice—an unelected government official with lifetime tenure—engaged in what is tantamount to a seditious conspiracy.
Serving Thomas a subpoena would be a marked escalation. Although it would treat her like any other U.S. citizen, her refusal to show up and testify risks facing arrest and jail time—an odd situation for the wife of a Supreme Court justice.
The committee has already interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses who worked in the Trump administration, his election-overturning campaign, and the many groups with fascist ties who plotted to keep Trump in power.
The few who have resisted—including Meadows, MAGA social media manager Dan Scavino, former White House adviser Peter Navarro, and political strategist Steve Bannon—have been either held in contempt of Congress or now face time behind bars. On Friday, a jury convicted Bannon, who awaits a mandatory minimum sentence of a month or more in prison. Navarro was indicted last month.
“I believe that our nation stands on the edge of an abyss.”
— Liz Cheney
Cheney on CNN acknowledged that her role as co-chair of the Jan. 6 Committee—and her willingness to totally break with fellow Republicans who remain loyal Trumpists—could cost her re-election in Wyoming this year. But she called the historic congressional investigation “the single most important thing I’ve done professionally.”
“I believe that our nation stands on the edge of an abyss. We have to think very seriously about the dangers we face… and we’ve got to elect serious candidates,” she said.
She also said she has yet to decide whether she will run for president next year to stop Trump from making a comeback.
“At this point, I’ve not made a decision about 2024. And I’m really very focused on the substance of what we have to do on the select committee,” she said.