Newly revealed text messages from Ginni Thomas to a top Trump administration official show the conservative-activist wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t merely rooting for former President Donald Trump to win reelection. She inundated Trump’s chief of staff with frenzied post-election texts offering direct advice on how they might overturn the results — and infused that advice with crazed conspiracy nonsense worthy of Q-Anon’s most feverish followers.
All this as Trump was desperately trying to get the justices, including Justice Thomas, to review the election outcome. The whole episode further casts a shadow upon a Supreme Court already falling from grace with much of the American public.
It has long been problematic that Justice Thomas consistently declines to recuse himself from cases in which his wife is deeply involved as an activist. But the airing last week of the texts between Ginni Thomas and Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, adds a whole new layer to the issue: They indicate the justice’s wife is in thrall to some of the most extreme, outlandish and potentially dangerous conspiracy theories out there regarding the election.
The texts also contain at least a hint that — contrary to the couple’s credibility-straining denials — they do in fact discuss these matters privately.
The texts are part of materials Meadows turned over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol. They show that in the days and weeks after the 2020 election, Ginni Thomas frantically pressed Meadows to get the election overturned by any means possible. “This war is psychological,” she wrote, and “Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.” She referred to President Joe Biden’s legitimate win as a “coup” and lamented: “I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud.” She quoted right-wing websites predicting that the “Biden crime family” will face “military tribunals for sedition,” adding: “I hope this is true.”
In a tweet after the Jan. 6 insurrection, she embraced the bonkers notion that Vice President Mike Pence was empowered to overturn the election, writing: “Most of us are disgusted with the VP.”
How much of this is discussed over the Thomases’ dinner table, only the Thomases know — though in the texts themselves, Ginni Thompson makes reference to discussing these issues with her “best friend.” In an unrelated profile from February, a family acquaintance describes the couple’s relationship with that very phrase.
Justice Thomas has already shown himself to be unusually tolerant of MAGA nonsense, as in January, when he sided with Trump to cast the sole vote against allowing the House committee to subpoena White House records regarding the insurrection. For the sake of the court’s very credibility, it’s past time for Chief Justice John Roberts to impose rules requiring justices to recuse themselves in cases with clear conflicts of interest.
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