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Did Ginni Thomas light the fuse that led to insurrection?
She was texting with Eastman. He then told an attorney about "heated fight" on SCOTUS over hearing election fraud claims. That attorney advised that fear of "chaos" on Jan. 6 could make justices act.
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Last night two separate media stories that dropped about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni and right-wing attorney John Eastman — who urged Mike Pence not to certify the election, during an infamous Oval Office meeting with Donald Trump — show us the contours of how the January 6th attack on the Capitol unfolded.
Both stories emanate from information the January 6th select committee has in its possession. And it appears that all roads lead back to Ginni Thomas, and ultimately her husband, who should now resign from the court, as his credibility is completely destroyed. There is no way he can oversee any election case, but more so, he has shown his corruption through and through.
We are, clearly, deep in a constitutional crisis.
First came a Washington Post story early in the evening showing that Ginni Thomas was texting and emailing not just with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and with Arizona legislators, urging actions to overturn the election, as had been reported in recent weeks. The new reporting shows Thomas was also corresponding with Eastman, who was working on behalf of Trump’s campaign and is now central to the plot to overturn the election via unconstitutional means:
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has obtained email correspondence between Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and lawyer John Eastman, who played a key role in efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, according to three people involved in the committee’s investigation.
The emails show that Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known, two of the people said. The three declined to provide details and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
Then came a story from The New York Times just before midnight Eastern Time, reporting that Eastman told a Wisconsin lawyer and Trump campaign officials in an email about a “heated fight” on the Supreme Court regarding taking up 2020 election challenges. Eastman knew the case was weak, but his efforts were all focused on politics and inside information that Eastman, who’d clerked in years past for Thomas, and was communicating with Ginni, had:
“So the odds [of getting four justices to take up the challenges] are not based on the legal merits but an assessment of the justices’ spines, and I understand that there is a heated fight underway,” Mr. Eastman wrote, according to the people briefed on the contents of the email. Referring to the process by which at least four justices are needed to take up a case, he added, “For those willing to do their duty, we should help them by giving them a Wisconsin cert petition to add into the mix.”
The Wisconsin lawyer on the emails, Kenneth Chesebro, replied that the “odds of action before Jan. 6 will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”
So Eastman was told that if the justices became worried that something dangerous might happen on January 6th, enough of the justices might get worried enough to take up the arguments. And it happened five days after Trump told his supporters to come to the Capitol on January 6th and that it was going to be “wild!” This was as media reports were swirling about the Proud Boys and other white supremacist groups heading to the Capitol to be part of the January 6th “protests.”
Clarence Thomas did in fact eventually write a blistering 11-page dissent when the Supreme Court decided not to take a challenge by the Trump campaign to Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballots, and was joined by Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito. So we now know three justices were on board — but a fourth was needed. And we also now know that some of the plotters believed that fourth justice could be won over if he or she feared “wild chaos” on January 6th, as a “heated fight” on the court was occurring about whether to hear Trump’s claims or not.
Think about it: We were one vote away from the court taking up a case, and an insurrection was being dangled to intimidate a justice to change his or her mind.
And who told Eastman about the “heated fight” on the court?
Again, as he put it: “I understand that there is a heated fight underway.”If he was texting with Ginni Thomas at the time it’s hard to believe she didn’t tell him about it. None of the reporting shows any emails in which they discussed it — and they might not be in the committee’s possession — but it’s hard to believe they didn’t exchange this information. We know all of these people were speaking on other channels, including Signal and perhaps also on the phone.
How else would Eastman “understand” what is happening on the court if not directly from the extremist, vocal activist wife of a justice with whom he was corresponding — the wife of a justice who adamantly wants to take up the case? (And if it’s not Ginni, it’s his old boss and good friend Clarence, which is even worse.) Then Eastman tells Chesebro, who suggests that fears of violence could do the trick in getting that fourth vote.
It doesn’t mean that Ginni Thomas or Eastman were plotting the attack on the Capitol. We know the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers and other groups were doing that — with Donald Trump’s blessings and anticipation. And we know that Republican members of Congress were working with those who organized the “Stop the Steal” rally, like Ali Alexander. And we know that at least one, Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk, took a group on a tour of the Capitol on January 5th — though he’d lied about it — one of whose members was at the attack on the Capitol the next day, threatening Nancy Pelosi and others with violence.
But clearly Eastman and Chesbro and surely Ginni Thomas knew that something was going to happen — Donald Trump himself had broadcast it loudly — and that didn’t seem to alarm them. To the contrary, it was seen as something that might help change the mind of a Supreme Court justice. The threat of violence was viewed as an intimidation tool to make the Supreme Court overturn the election.
That is astounding, and yes, as I said, it’s a constitutional crisis because we have a Supreme Court that answers to no one. Right now, after the new information, the select committee is debating on whether or not to explore Ginni Thomas’s role. I don’t see how they can’t. If she were anyone else she’d be subpoenaed already. It’s time for the committee to act.