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Supreme Court justice’s wife agrees to interview with Capitol riots panel

Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the January 6 2021 insurrection (Patrick Semansky/AP)
Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the January 6 2021 insurrection (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the January 6 2021 insurrection.

Her lawyer Mark Paoletta said Mrs Thomas is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election”.

The committee has for months sought an interview with Mrs Thomas in an effort to know more about her role in trying to help former president Donald Trump overturn his election defeat. She texted with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in the weeks after the election.

Mrs Thomas’ willingness to testify comes as the committee is preparing to wrap up its work before the end of the year and is writing a final report laying out its findings about the US Capitol insurrection. The panel announced on Wednesday that it will reconvene for a hearing on September 28, likely the last in a series of hearings that began this summer.

The testimony from Mrs Thomas — known as “Ginni” — was one of the remaining items for the panel as it eyes the completion of its work. The panel has already interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and shown some of that video testimony in its eight hearings over the summer.

The extent of Mrs Thomas’ involvement ahead of the Capitol attack is unknown.

In the days after The Associated Press and other news organisations called the presidential election for Joe Biden, Mrs Thomas emailed two lawmakers in Arizona to urge them to choose “a clean slate of Electors” and “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure”. The AP obtained the emails earlier this year under the state’s open records law.

She has said in interviews that she attended the initial pro-Trump rally the morning of January 6 but left before Mr Trump spoke and the crowds headed for the Capitol.

Mrs Thomas, a supporter of Mr Trump and long active in conservative causes, has repeatedly maintained that her political activities posed no conflict of interest with the work of her husband.

“Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles, and aspirations for America. But we have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too. Clarence doesn’t 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.

Justice Thomas was the lone dissenting voice when the Supreme Court ruled in January to allow a congressional committee access to presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes relating to the events of Jan. 6.

Mrs Thomas has been openly critical of the committee’s work, including signing onto a letter to House Republicans calling for the expulsion of Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois from the GOP conference for joining the January 6 congressional committee.