Ginni Thomas pressed Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn Biden’s 2020 win



Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urged lawmakers to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory not only in Arizona, as previously reported, but also in a second state. of the battlefield, Wisconsin, according to emails obtained under state public records law.

The Washington Post reported this year that Ginni Thomas emailed 29 Arizona state lawmakers, some of them twice, in November and December 2020. She urged them to rescind the victory of Biden’s popular vote and to “choose” their own presidential voters, despite the fact that the responsibility to choose voters rests with voters under Arizona state law.

The new emails show that Thomas also sent a message to two Wisconsin Republican lawmakers: State Senator Kathy Bernier, then chair of the Senate Elections Committee, and State Representative Gary Tauchen. Bernier and Tauchen received the email at 10:47 a.m. on Nov. 9, around the same time Arizona lawmakers received a text copy of Thomas’ message. The Bernier email was obtained by The Post, and the Tauchen email was obtained by the monitoring group Documented and provided to The Post.

Thomas sent all emails through FreeRoots, an online platform that allowed people to send pre-written emails to multiple elected officials.

“Please stand firm in the face of media and political pressure,” read emails sent Nov. 9, just days after major media outlets called the presidency for Biden. “Please consider the awesome authority granted to you by our Constitution. And then please take steps to ensure that a clean voters list is chosen for our state.

Neither Thomas nor his attorney, Mark Paoletta, responded to requests for comment. A Supreme Court spokeswoman did not respond to a message seeking comment from Clarence Thomas.

Ginni Thomas’ political activism is highly unusual for the wife of a Supreme Court Justice, and for years he has raised questions about potential conflicts of interest for her husband. She said the two kept their professional lives separate.

But scrutiny of the Thomases intensified this year after The Post and CBS News obtained copies of text messages Ginni Thomas exchanged with Mark Meadows, then President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, in the weeks that followed the 2020 election. Thomas has repeatedly urged Meadows to keep fighting to overturn the election results. After Congress certified Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, she expressed anger at Vice President Mike Pence, who refused to intervene to keep Trump in power. “We are living in what feels like the end of America,” Thomas wrote to Meadows four days later.

Thomas was also in contact during the post-election period with John Eastman, the pro-Trump lawyer who once clerked for her husband, and whose role in the effort to undo Biden’s victory caught the attention of the Ministry of Justice. Justice and the House Select Committee. investigation into the January 6 riot. In early December 2020, Thomas invited Eastman to speak at a meeting of Frontliners for Liberty, which she described as a grassroots activist group, according to an email Eastman posted online.

The agenda for the meeting has not been made public. But a federal judge ruling on the cases that were to be turned over in response to a subpoena from the committee wrote that the agenda shows Eastman discussed “legislative actions by the state that can reverse the media election. for Joe Biden”. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ordered Eastman to give congressional investigators emails related to Thomas and his Frontliners group meetings, saying the meetings “furthered a core purpose of the Jan. 6 plan: to make certify by contested states alternative lists of voters for the president. Asset.”

The House committee asked Thomas to sit down for a voluntary interview in June. The committee also asked him for a wide range of documents, including those related to election cancellation plans and all communications with members of Congress and their staffs and Justice Department employees, according to a copy of the request. published by the curator Daily Caller.

At the time, Thomas indicated she would comply. “I look forward to dispelling misconceptions. I can’t wait to talk to them,” Thomas told the Daily Caller, his former employer.

Less than two weeks later, on June 28, Paoletta told the committee that while Thomas remained willing to interview, he did not believe there was a “sufficient basis” for her to do so.

In a letter obtained by The Post, Paoletta – a longtime close associate of the Thomases – described Ginni Thomas’s text messages to Meadows as ‘utterly unremarkable’ and said they did not suggest she gambled. a role in the attack on the Capitol. He presented his invitation to Eastman as merely an invitation to speak, not an endorsement of his views or “an indication of a working relationship.” He also said she had no role in organizing the email campaign to Arizona lawmakers and did not write or edit the form letters she sent.

In an interview, Bernier, the Wisconsin lawmaker, said it would have been appropriate for the state legislature to consider decertifying the 2020 results in the weeks following the election if there was evidence of significant voter fraud. appeared. “But as we went through the process and legal challenges were made and ignored by the court system, nothing was proven in terms of actual voter fraud,” she said.

Bernier said she didn’t realize Thomas was among the thousands of people who emailed her after the election, but she said Thomas “has the right to say what she thinks on the first amendment”.

“I was married for 20 years. I took on a certain identity from my husband, but I had a mind of my own,” Bernier said. you are a clone.”

Tauchen did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Thomas’ Nov. 9 email was one of thousands sent through the FreeRoots platform that flooded the offices of Bernier and Tauchen in the weeks after the election, records show.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported in January 2021 that out of more than 10,000 pages of emails received during this period by Bernier and State Rep. Ron Tusler (R), then chairman of his House Elections Committee, the majority were “mass-generated form letters making non-specific allegations about alleged improprieties, a right-wing fraud investigation effort, and a clip from Fox’s Sean Hannity show.

The fact that Thomas sent one of the FreeRoots emails to Bernier has not previously been reported. “Please do your constitutional duty!” read the subject line of the message she sent.

According to documents leaked by Bernier’s office to The Post, Thomas was the fourth of more than 30 people to email this particular form on Nov. 9 and 10. The first sender of this email, three hours before Thomas, was someone named Stephanie. Coleman, according to the records.

A woman named Stephanie Miller Coleman is the widow of one of Clarence Thomas’ former clerks. She was listed as co-administrator, with Thomas, of a private Facebook group for Frontliners. The page listing the group administrators is no longer publicly visible.

Coleman did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Ginni Thomas’ communications with key players in efforts to overturn the election have led to calls for her husband to recuse himself from matters related to the 2020 election and attempt to overthrow them. Clarence Thomas gave no indication of his intention to do so.

This year, eight Supreme Court justices denied Trump’s request to block congressional investigators from accessing White House records that could shed light on the events of January 6, 2021. Thomas was the only judge to dissent, siding with Trump.

Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.


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