Ginni Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, contacted state legislators in Wisconsin in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election to push for what amounted to meddling with the outcome, according to newly available emails.
Previous reports revealed Thomas contacted legislators in Arizona. (She also infamously stayed in close contact with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows after the last election, pushing for action towards a goal of Trump getting another term in office despite losing the election.) On November 9, Thomas also sent messages — identical to missives sent on the same day to Arizona legislators — to at least two Wisconsin state legislators. The emails asked recipients to “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.” Legislators aren’t legally supposed to meddle with the process of “choosing” electors. That’s voters’ job. Notably, Thomas doesn’t live in Arizona or Wisconsin, despite her using that language. The targeted Wisconsin lawmakers were state Sen. Kathy Bernier along with state Rep. Gary Tauchen, both Republicans.
To send the emails, Thomas used FreeRoots, an online platform where individuals can send out pre-written messages to public officials. Mark Paoletta, a lawyer for Ginni Thomas, “said she played no role in organizing the email campaign to Arizona lawmakers and did not draft or edit the form letters she sent,” as summarized by The Washington Post — but for the wife of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice to sign on with a letter-writing campaign adds a level of political pressure that wouldn’t otherwise be there. Imagine somebody is looking through post-election messages and sees Thomas’s name. Pretending as though Thomas’s participation is unworthy of concern isn’t a realistic argument. She got a reply from an Arizona legislator she contacted. “I hope you and Clarence are doing great!” state Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R) said. Thomas apparently kept the conversation going, replying: “Fun that this came to you! Just part of our campaign to help states feel America’s eyes!!!”
Bolick unsuccessfully pursued the GOP nomination for Secretary of State in Arizona, finishing with a little over 19 percent of the vote. The party’s nod went to Mark Finchem, who — among other things — was behind a recently failed lawsuit that sought to force a hand count of ballots in Arizona’s elections this year. Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, was also a plaintiff. As for Thomas, Bernier — one of the Wisconsin legislators she contacted after the 2020 elections — said she wasn’t aware that Ginni was among those who got in touch after the election. Tauchen, the other legislator, didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Post. Large numbers of emails were sent to various state legislators after the last presidential race. Ginni received a request earlier this summer for a voluntary interview with the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, but it doesn’t seem she’s appeared for testimony before the panel as of this point.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia Commons and available under a Creative Commons license