Chip Somodevilla/Getty Ginni Thomas
A lawyer for Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, says that she would be open to testifying before the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riots — but she has some concerns.
In the eight-page letter — a copy of which was obtained by outlets including CBS News — Thomas' attorney Mark Paoletta wrote to the committee that he did not know why the House representatives needed to hear from her.
The letter follows comments made by committee chair Bennie Thompson, who said earlier this month that the group had sent Thomas a letter asking her to testify.
"As she has already indicated, Mrs. Thomas is eager to clear her name and is willing to appear before the Committee to do so," Paoletta wrote. "However, based on my understanding of the communications that spurred the Committee's request, I do not understand the need to speak with Mrs. Thomas."
Elsewhere in the letter, Paoletta wrote that Thomas and her husband were experiencing "a particularly stressful time" and had been "subjected to an avalanche of death threats and other abuse by the unprecedented assault on the conservative Supreme Court Justices and their families," a reference to the outcry of criticism in the wake of the court's overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The committee appears eager to speak with Thomas, at least in part, due to her communications with lawmakers and those in Trump's inner orbit — with whom she pleaded to "not concede," despite the fact that Trump lost both the popular and electoral votes in 2020. Those communications have raised questions about whether it poses a conflict of interest for her husband, and if he should recuse himself from Supreme Court cases related to the 2020 presidential election.
New emails obtained by the committee reportedly show that Thomas was in contact with conservative attorney John Eastman, a central figure in the investigation who had written a detailed plan to attempt to persuade then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the 2020 election results on Jan. 6.
The content of the emails — or whether they were between only Eastman and Thomas or part of a larger group — have not yet been made public, but The Washington Post reports that their existence sheds light on Thomas' efforts to have the election overturned in Trump's favor.
The bipartisan committee investigating the riots earlier obtained 29 texts between Thomas and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. In the messages, which were reported by the Post and CBS News, Thomas beseeched Meadows, 62, to do what he could to keep Trump in power, despite Biden's win.
Three days after the election, for instance, Thomas wrote Meadows: "Do not concede. It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back."
The Post also recently reported on Thomas' communications with Arizona lawmakers in the weeks after the election. According to the outlet, Thomas wrote emails to at least 29 lawmakers in the state, pressing them "to set aside Joe Biden's popular vote victory and 'choose' presidential electors."
Thomas has also previously acknowledged that she attended the rally that preceded the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, though she told The Washington Free Beacon that she left before then-President Trump addressed the crowd.
Thomas has also said she "played no role with those who were planning and leading the Jan. 6 events."