Clarence Thomas’ Recusal From Trump Case Pushed By Judiciary Chairman

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Per CNN journalist Manu Raju, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, is pushing the possible recusal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from consideration of a presently unfolding court dispute involving Donald Trump. The controversy is around Trump’s claim he holds wide-ranging presidential immunity covering his time in office that should block the criminal case from Special Counsel Jack Smith on allegations of attempted election subversion.

Smith is asking the Supreme Court to take up the dispute before the conclusion to an appeals process at a lower level so the whole undertaking can be wrapped up more quickly, with an eye towards keeping trial on track. (It’s currently scheduled for next March.) The Supreme Court has already agreed to expedited consideration of Smith’s request for them to take up the dispute, which if it lingers could delay trial. The main ruling against Trump’s immunity arguments so far came all the way down at the District Court level from presiding Judge Tanya Chutkan.

“Dick Durbin told me that Clarence Thomas should consider recusing himself from case on whether Donald Trump should be given immunity from prosecution,” Raju reported on X, previously called Twitter. And here’s Durbin’s actual quote: “There’s been enough information raised about Mr. Thomas and his spouse that he ought to think twice about recusal in this case.” Recusal would entail Thomas stepping back from participation in the proceedings.

Durbin’s reference to Ginni Thomas, the judge’s wife, hearkens back to her ardent support of the general ambitions around Trump’s allegedly criminal conspiracies after the last presidential election that drive this case. As has been widely reported, for instance, Ginni texted Mark Meadows amid his then role as White House chief of staff with encouragement towards the Trump team’s election subversion ambitions. Former prosecutor Andrew Weissmann expects the Supreme Court will take up the underlying dispute on Trump’s immunity for a fuller round of more conclusive consideration.