Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent emails to more than two dozen members of the Arizona state legislature urging them to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election win, according to a new report.
According to an analysis of emails published by the Washington Post Friday, Thomas sent identical messages to more than half of the Republicans serving in the state Senate and Arizona House at the time.
"As state lawmakers, you have the Constitutional power and authority to protect the integrity of our elections — and we need you to exercise that power now!” wrote Thomas. “Never before in our nation's history have our elections been so threatened by fraud and unconstitutional procedures."
The report comes a day after the committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, held its first hearing laying out the evidence of how then-President Donald Trump and his allies plotted to subvert Joe Biden’s win, eventually leading to the Capitol insurrection. Arizona, which Biden won narrowly, was one of the epicenters of baseless fraud allegations, with the Republican Party’s state chairwoman promoting the claims and the GOP-controlled state Senate pushing a partisan investigation into the results in Maricopa County.
Earlier this year, Ginni Thomas confirmed that she attended the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but got cold and left before the riot took place. She also denied reports that she was a key figure in planning the events that led to the storming of the Capitol building.
“I played no role with those who were planning and leading the Jan. 6 events,” Thomas said in a March interview with the Washington Free Beacon. “There are stories in the press suggesting I paid or arranged for buses. I did not. There are other stories saying I mediated feuding factions of leaders for that day. I did not.”
Thomas added that she was “disappointed and frustrated” about the violence that occurred because she feared it hurt the chance to look into “important and legitimate substantive questions about achieving goals like electoral integrity.”
Despite Thomas’s long history of conservative activism, her husband has never recused himself from a case due to her involvement, according to the Washington Post. Under the rules of the Supreme Court, there is no mechanism to force a recusal, meaning the decision to recuse is left up to each individual justice. Clarence Thomas, who was appointed in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, is considered one of the most conservative justices on the court.
In January, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump had to turn over materials he was attempting to shield from the House select committee investigating events surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection. Of the nine justices, Thomas was the only one who said he would have granted Trump’s request to shield those documents from the committee.
A month earlier, Ginni Thomas signed a letter from conservative leaders calling the Jan. 6 committee an “overtly partisan political persecution that brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law, legal harassment to private citizens who have done nothing wrong, and which demeans the standing of the House.”
In 2021, Ginni Thomas apologized to her husband’s former clerks for the rift that her support of Trump and the Jan. 6 rally had caused. She had been outspoken in her belief that the 2020 election was marred by fraud, and had regularly promoted the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, posting messages on Facebook such as “LOVE MAGA people!!!!” and “GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU STANDING UP or PRAYING” on the morning of the event.
“I owe you all an apology. I have likely imposed on you my lifetime passions,” she said in an email to a listserv of staffers who had worked for her husband. “My passions and beliefs are likely shared with the bulk of you, but certainly not all. And sometimes the smallest matters can divide loved ones for too long. Let’s pledge to not let politics divide THIS family, and learn to speak more gently and knowingly across the divide.”
Although Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, certified the election with Biden as its winner in December 2020, other members of the party, including Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona GOP, pushed a fake electoral certificate stating that Trump had won the state. The document was sent to the National Archives, which processes Electoral College certificates before sending them on to Congress.
While pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, Ward tweeted, “Congress is adjourned. Send the elector choice back to the legislatures.” At an October hearing in the U.S. House on the much-maligned Maricopa ballot inquiry, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., refused to say Biden won the election.
Trump has endorsed candidates for the state’s top offices who have said the 2020 election wasn’t legitimate, including former television journalist Kari Lake for governor, who has said she wouldn’t have certified the 2020 election results. He has also thrown his support behind state legislator Mark Finchem — who attended the Jan. 6 rally at the Capitol — for Arizona secretary of state. Finchem has consistently pushed the notion that the election was stolen from Trump while supporting the Maricopa “audit.”