Questions are being raised by legal experts as to whether Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should face an investigation over her alleged support of a fake electoral plot in the wake of the 2020 election.
Ginni Thomas has long been scrutinized for messages she sent to lawmakers calling for a new slate of electors to falsely claim Donald Trump had beaten Joe Biden in states in which the Republican had lost.
Newsweek previously reported that Thomas is alleged to have sent emails to dozens of Arizona election officials and lawmakers claiming it was their “constitutional duty” to install a “clean slate of electors” who would be willing to declare Trump the winner in the Grand Canyon State in 2020.
She is said to have allegedly told the lawmakers to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure” and falsely claimed the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone.”
The calls for Thomas to face investigation grew after 16 Republicans were recently charged in Michigan over a 2020 false elector plot, and reports that Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office is said to be investigating the false slate of electors who attempted to claim Trump had won the state in 2020.
Newsweek contacted Thomas for comment via social media on Tuesday.
There is currently no indication that Thomas is under investigation as part of Mayes’ investigation, and she was not one of the 13 Republicans who met in Arizona in December 2020 to sign a document falsely declaring themselves the “duly elected and qualified electors” for the state and that they had the power to award Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for Trump.
Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, said there is a possibility that Thomas could yet be investigated over the Arizona fake electoral plot.
“Her lawyer has publicly said that Thomas simply signed a pre-written letter, but there is reportedly evidence that she played a larger role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. If so, Ginni Thomas may have crossed the line of political advocacy or aggressive legal strategy to criminal conduct,” Rahmani told Newsweek.
As well as her emails to Arizona lawmakers and election officials, according to information obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News, Thomas was found to have sent text messages to Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to help overturn the 2020 results while spouting a series of election conspiracy theories, including calling Biden’s victory as the “greatest heist of our history.”
The House Select Committee which investigated the Capitol attack said that Thomas was also in direct communication with Trump attorney John Eastman, who allegedly orchestrated the plot to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to not certify the 2020 election results in Congress on January 6, despite knowing such a tactic would be illegal.
In December 2022, the January 6 panel did not recommend that the Department of Justice bring forward any charges against Thomas, with no indications that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office will bring forward any as part of the federal probe.
Michigan-based attorney Jamie White suggested that while Thomas has already come under the microscope over the support of the 2020 fake electoral plot, we are “only at the beginning of our understanding” of her alleged contributions to the scheme.
“Ginni Thomas’ pattern of inappropriate involvement is mind-boggling,” White told Newsweek. “January 6 and all of the surrounding circumstances put our country in its most difficult situation since 1821.
“For a Supreme Court justice’s wife to be texting with the chief of staff who was promulgating an insurrection against the country is beyond remarkable.”
However, Paul Bender, professor of law at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Arizona, suggested that there is still no real evidence that Thomas’ alleged behavior amounted to criminal activity.
“Ginni Thomas was wrong in thinking that the Arizona Legislature could choose electors different from those chosen in the election. They could have done that initially, but once the Legislature decided to hold an election they could not change their minds and choose electors themselves because they didn’t like the way the election turned out,” Bender told Newsweek.
“But I don’t think it is a crime to tell legislators that they have a power that they don’t have. It might be a crime to pretend to be an elector, but it doesn’t look like Ginni did that.”
Dan Barr, Arizona AG Mayes’ chief deputy, recently told The Washington Post that the state’s investigation into the fake electoral plot is only in the “fact-gathering” phase.
“This is something we’re not going to go into thinking, ‘Maybe we’ll get a conviction,’ or ‘Maybe we have a pretty good chance,'” Barr said. “This has to be ironclad shut.”