Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, stressed that her election activities were separate from her husband’s role on the high court during her Thursday meeting with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Thomas addressed her dynamic with her husband through a prepared statement at the onset of the four and a half hour meeting with the panel, two sources familiar told CNN.
“Regarding the 2020 election, I did not speak with him at all about the details of my volunteer campaign activities,” Thomas said under oath in her opening statement obtained by CNN. “And I did not speak with him at all about the details of my post-election activities, which were minimal, in any event. I am certain I never spoke with him about any of the legal challenges to the 2020 election, as I was not involved with those challenges in any way.”
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who chairs the January 6 committee, told CNN that Thomas answered “some questions” in her interview with the panel and reiterated her belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“Yes,” the chairman said when asked if Thomas said she still believes the election was stolen. “She said that.”
Thompson would not divulge what the committee asked about, including whether she addressed her text messages with then-President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows. In her prepared remarks, Thomas asserted that her husband was “completely unaware” of her texts with Meadows until the media reported on them.
When asked if Thomas tried to clear up her previous statements, as her lawyer said, Thompson told CNN, “We didn’t accuse her of anything.”
Thompson said that overall, “at this point we are glad she came in.” And asked whether the panel will incorporate the interview into its next, currently unscheduled hearing, he said, “If there’s something of merit.”
When entering her voluntary interview on Thursday morning, Thomas declined to tell CNN why she felt the need to speak to the committee and instead said, “Thank you for being here.”
She declined to say whether she spoke with her husband about her beliefs that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. “Thank you for your question, I look forward to answering members,” she told CNN.
Thomas’ prepared remarks, however, stressed, “that my husband has never spoken with me about pending cases at the Court. It’s an iron clad rule in our home.”
“Additionally, [Justice Thomas] is uninterested in politics. And I generally do not discuss with him my day-to-day work in politics, the topics I am working on, who I am calling, emailing, texting, or meeting,” she added.
Thomas’ attorney, Mark Paoletta, confirmed the voluntary interview last week.
“She was happy to cooperate with the Committee to clear up the misconceptions about her activities surrounding the 2020 elections,” Paoletta said in a statement after Thursday’s interview. “As she has said from the outset, Mrs. Thomas had significant concerns about fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election. And, as she told the Committee, her minimal and mainstream activity focused on ensuring that reports of fraud and irregularities were investigated.”
Members of the panel have long said they are interested in speaking with Thomas, particularly after CNN first reported text messages she exchanged with Meadows prior to January 6 about overturning the election.
But in the months after those messages emerged, there had been little indication that compelling her to testify was a top priority for the panel despite subsequent evidence that Thomas also encouraged state lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin to overturn Joe Biden’s legitimate electoral win.
Thomas attended the rally that preceded the attack on the US Capitol, as she said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, where she stressed that her and her husband’s professional lives are kept separate. She also said that she had left the gathering before the protesters turned violent.
She has also been publicly critical of the House January 6 investigation, calling on House GOP leaders to boot from their conference the two Republicans serving on the select committee.
Thompson also told CNN that the panel had yet to reschedule its next hearing, after postponing it on Wednesday because of Hurricane Ian. The Mississippi Democrat said he doubts the hearing will take place next week.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Thursday.