Ginni Thomas pressed 29 Arizona lawmakers to help reverse Trump’s defeat, emails show
New documents show that Thomas did indeed use the platform to reach many lawmakers simultaneously. On Nov. 9, she sent identical emails to 20 members of the Arizona House and seven Arizona state senators. This represents more than half of the Republican members of the state legislature at the time.
The message, just days after media organizations called the race for Biden in Arizona and across the country, urged lawmakers to “stand firm in the face of political and media pressure” and claimed the responsibility to choose voters was ” yours and yours alone”. They had “the power to fight fraud” and “to ensure that a clean list of voters was chosen,” the email said.
Among the lawmakers who received the email was the then Rep. Anthony Kern, a Stop the Steal supporter who lost his re-election bid in November 2020, then joined U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) and others as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the vice- President Mike Pence, a last-ditch effort to overturn Biden’s victory. Kern was photographed outside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot but said he did not enter the building, according to local media.
Kern did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. He is seeking his party’s nomination for a seat in the Arizona State Senate and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
On Dec. 13, the day before Electoral College members were due to vote and seal Biden’s victory, Thomas emailed 22 House members and one senator. “Before choosing your state’s voters… think about what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t rise up and lead,” the email said. It was linked to a video of a man urging swing state lawmakers to “put things in order” and “not to give in to cowardice”.
House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers and Rep. Shawnna Bolick, the two previously identified recipients, told the Post in May that Thomas’ outreach had no bearing on their decisions on how to handle fraud claims. electoral.
But the revelation that Ginni Thomas was directly involved in the push to overturn the popular vote – an act that would have been unprecedented in the modern era – has intensified questions about whether her husband should recuse himself from matters related to the 2020 presidential election and attempts to subvert it. Ginni Thomas’ status as a prominent conservative political activist set her apart from other wives of Supreme Court justices.
Ginni Thomas did not respond to requests for comment on this report. She has long insisted that she and her husband operate in separate career paths.
A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court did not respond to questions from Clarence Thomas.
The Post obtained the emails under Arizona’s Public Records Act, which — unlike laws in some other key 2020 swing states — allows the public to access emails, text messages and other written communications to and from state legislators.
In March, The Post and CBS News obtained text messages that Ginni Thomas sent in the weeks following the 2020 election to Mark Meadows, then Trump’s chief of staff. The messages showed Thomas was spreading false claims and urging Meadows to keep fighting to keep Trump in the White House.
“This conflict of interest is screaming at you,” Adam B. Schiff (D-California), who serves on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said on MSNBC in response to the the Post’s May report revealing the emails to Bolick and Bowers.
Schiff pointed to Clarence Thomas’ decision not to recuse himself when Trump went to the Supreme Court to try to block the House committee from accessing his White House records. The High Court refused to block the publication of these documents. Thomas, on Trump’s side, was the only dissenting judge.
“Here you have the wife of a Supreme Court justice,” Schiff said, trying “to get Arizona to inappropriately reject the votes of millions of people. And also, to add to that, her husband to the Supreme Court, writing a dissent in a case opposing the provision of documents to Congress that may have revealed some of those same emails.
After the May article, Mark Paoletta — a longtime Thomas ally who, as a member of the George H.W. Bush administration, played a role in confirming Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court — confirmed that Ginni Thomas had signed the e-mails, but he sought to minimize his role.
“Ginni signed his name on a pre-written form letter that was signed by thousands of citizens and sent to state legislators across the country,” Paoletta wrote on Twitter May 20. He described Thomas’s activities as “a private citizen joining a letter-writing campaign” and added, sarcastically, “How disturbing, what a threat!”
The letter-writing campaigns were organized on FreeRoots.com, which marketed itself as a platform to amplify grassroots advocacy across the political spectrum. A Post review of its archived web pages shows it was widely used in late 2020 by groups seeking to overturn presidential election results.
One such group was Every Legal Vote, which organized the campaign to deliver the message sent by Ginni Thomas on November 9. American Citizens, in partnership” with the non-profit organization United in Purpose, according to web pages maintained by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. United in Purpose, which uses data to galvanize conservative Christian voters, has hosted lunches in recent years where Thomas presented his Impact Awards to right-wing leaders.
On Dec. 14, 2020, Biden voters in Arizona cast their ballots, after election results were certified by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and Governor Doug Ducey (R).
Trump voters gathered in Arizona that day and signed a document declaring themselves the “duly elected and qualified voters” of the state. One of them was Kern, the outgoing state representative.
Kern was among more than a dozen lawmakers who signed a letter to Congress the same day calling for the state’s electoral votes to revert to Trump or “be completely nullified until a medical audit is completed.” legal full can be made”.
The lawmakers’ letter was an exhibit in Kern and Gohmert’s lawsuit asking a federal court to rule that Pence had “exclusive authority and sole discretion” to decide which electoral votes to count for a given state. The plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to intervene after the case was dismissed by the lower courts. The day after the January 6 uprising, the court refused in an unsigned order.