Question in Ginni Thomas Texts: Who Is 'Best Friend?'

Clarence's wife urged Trump aide to fight election results, but importance of that is disputed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2022 9:26 AM CDT
Question in Ginni Thomas Texts: Who Is 'Best Friend?'
Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., in 2017.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The buzzy story in DC Friday is the revelation that Virginia Thomas, wife of Clarence, urged then-President Trump's chief of staff in text messages to try to overturn the 2020 election results. At one point, she urged Mark Meadows to "release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down." However, she never directly mentions her husband in the texts. The importance of all this? Some coverage:

  • A conflict? This is "the first evidence that she was directly advising the White House as it sought to overturn the election," per the New York Times. "In fact, in her efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power, Ms. Thomas effectively toggled between like-minded members of the executive and legislative branches, even as her husband, who sits atop the judiciary branch that is supposed to serve as a check on the other branches of government, heard election-related cases."
  • Pipeline: The messages "reveal an extraordinary pipeline between" Ginni Thomas ... and "President Donald Trump’s top aide during a period when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to negate the election results," write Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in the Washington Post.
  • Aaand? "This story is making a big splash but so far there’s no evidence this was part of some deep state plot connecting Trump to the Supreme Court," writes John Sexton at Hot Air. "Is there any crime here or the suggestion of one? Keep in mind the standard the left has set for family members wielding influence because of their closeness to politically powerful people."

  • Ditto: "If she committed a crime, she should be held to account, tweets Pradheep J. Shanker, a National Review contributor. "Doesn't sound like it here. But we spent a year where liberal media said Hunter Biden was irrelevant...well, if family is irrelevant, then they are irrelevant. If they are relevant...then they are relevant. PICK ONE."
  • Best friend: As noted above, Ginni Thomas never mentions her husband in her texts. But at one point, after Meadows thanked Thomas and pledged to help in the "fight of good versus evil," she replied: “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!” Who is her "best friend?" Unclear, but plenty of people are guessing.
  • Best friend, II: "We don’t know for sure who her 'best friend' is, but people close to the couple, including Armstrong Williams, have called the couple 'best friends'—as in, Ginni and Clarence Thomas are each other’s best friend," writes Joan McCarter at the Daily Kos. To McCarter, it's pretty clear she was discussing all this with her husband while he was weighing in on election cases.
  • Recuse? NYU law professor Stephen Gillers assesses all of the above and concludes to the Times that Clarence Thomas cannot "sit on any case involving, even remotely, the conduct of the election, the vote of Congress on Jan. 6, or any cases involving the Jan. 6 committee's attempts to get information." He must recuse, and he should already have recused himself from related cases, says Gillers. (Clarence Thomas was hospitalized this week with an unspecified infection.)

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