By MARK SHERMAN and JONATHAN J. COOPER – Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia “Ginni” Thomas wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative political activist, urged Republican lawmakers in Arizona after the 2020 presidential election to choose their own voters list, arguing the results giving Joe Biden a victory in the state were tainted with fraud.
The first revelations published by The Washington Post Friday show that Thomas was more involved than previously thought in efforts, based on unsubstantiated fraud allegations, to undo Biden’s victory and keep then-President Donald Trump in power.
In the days after the Associated Press and other news outlets called Biden’s presidential election, Thomas emailed two Arizona lawmakers urging them to choose “a blank list of voters” and to “stay strong in the face of political and media pressure”. The AP obtained the emails under the State Open Archives Act.
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Thomas also had written to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the weeks following the election, encouraging him to work to undo Biden’s victory and keep Trump in office, according to text messages first reported by the Post and CBS News.
She criticized the ongoing congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 violence, including signing a letter to House Republicans calling for the expulsion of Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois from the GOP conference. for joining Jan. 6. congress committee.
Judge Thomas, meanwhile, took part in the court’s review of lawsuits challenging the election results. The court dismissed all challenges without a hearing, although Thomas was among three conservative justices who said the Pennsylvania cases should be heard. In February 2021, Thomas called the cases a “perfect opportunity” to address an important question of whether state lawmakers or state courts have the final say on how federal elections are conducted.
In January, Thomas was the only member of the court who backed an offer by Trump to withhold Jan. 6 committee documents. The documents were held by the National Archives and Records Administration and included presidential diaries, visitor logs, draft speeches and handwritten notes dealing with Jan. 6 from the Meadows files.
Thomas did not immediately respond to a request for comment, made in court on Friday.
Democratic lawmakers have called on Thomas to step aside from election-related matters, but he has given no indication of his intention to do so.
The latest disclosure comes at a time when Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an internal investigation into a leaked draft opinion quashing Roe v. Wade, in one of the court’s most important cases in decades, and opinion polls showed a loss of public confidence in the establishment.
Thomas was referring to the opinion leaked at a conference in Dallas last week when he spoke about the damages in court. “I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them.”
Ginni Thomas said she and justice keep their work separate. “Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles and aspirations for America. But we have our own distinct careers, as well as our own ideas and opinions. Clarence does not discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work,” Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview published in March.
Thomas emailed Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Rep. Shawnna Bolick, who this year is running for Arizona’s secretary of state. That would make her the best election administrator in Arizona.
She wrote to them again on December 13, the day before voters gathered in state capitals across the country to formally vote for president.
“As state legislators, you have the constitutional power and authority to protect the integrity of our elections – and we need you to exercise that power now!” says the email. “Never before in the history of our nation have our elections been so threatened by fraud and unconstitutional proceedings.”
Bowers dismissed the idea of replacing Arizona voters shortly after the election. The following year, Bolick introduced a bill that would have allowed the Legislative Assembly to nullify presidential election results for any reason and substitute voters.
Bolick said his legislation would have made the process more bipartisan by requiring a two-thirds vote, but the text of the proposal calls for a simple majority. Either way, Bowers essentially killed the legislation before it even passed.
Associated Press writer Bob Christie contributed to this Phoenix report. Cooper also reported from Phoenix.
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