Update: The House Jan. 6 panel now wants to interview Ginni Thomas about her efforts to keep the 2020 election results from being certified. Chair Bennie Thompson said Thursday the committee will issue an invitation to the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, reports Axios. The development comes after the panel obtained a trove of emails between Thomas and Trump ally John Eastman, an attorney who pushed to keep the former president in office. “We think it’s time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee,” Thompson said. Our story from earlier Thursday follows:
Members of the committee investigating the Capitol riot have said they don't believe Virginia "Ginni" Thomas played a major role in the Trump team's attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election—but new evidence may have come to light. Sources tell the Washington Post that the panel has obtained emails between Thomas—wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—and John Eastman, a former Thomas clerk who supported Trump's election fraud claims and spoke at the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally. The Post's sources say the emails show Thomas' efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known.
The committee—which is expected in Thursday's hearing to look at Eastman's role in pressuring former Vice President Mike Pence to reject the election results—is now debating what to do with the Thomas emails, sources tell CBS. The New York Times, citing sources, reports that Eastman claimed to have inside information on a "heated fight" among Supreme Court justices about hearing arguments over Trump's efforts to overturn the election results. "So the odds are not based on the legal merits but an assessment of the justices’ spines," he wrote to pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro in a Dec. 24, 2020 email, per the Times. Chesebro replied that the odds of action would improve if "the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6."
Last week it emerged that Thomas—who referred to a "best friend" in emails to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to "release the Kraken"—also wrote to dozens of Arizona lawmakers in an effort to reverse Trump's defeat in the state. Pence will not be testifying at Thursday's hearing, the AP reports, but the panel is expected to focus on the efforts of Eastman and others to pressure him to block the certification of election results on Jan. 6 by rejecting Electoral College results. (Read more Virginia Thomas stories.)