Where Things Stand: Ginni Is Down To Chat

This is your TPM evening briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sits with his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas while he waits to speak at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 i... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sits with his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas while he waits to speak at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Clarence Thomas has now served on the Supreme Court for 30 years. He was nominated by former President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and is the second African-American to serve on the high court, following Justice Thurgood Marshall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS

It may have gotten lost in the whirlwind of our live coverage of today’s third Jan. 6 committee hearing, so I wanted to make a quick note to bring it to your attention: Ginni Thomas told the Daily Caller this afternoon that she was willing to talk to the Jan. 6 select committee — and the committee quickly sought to take her up on that offer.

Both Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) released statements this morning indicating the committee wanted to speak with Thomas, following new overnight news reports about her communications with conservative lawyer John Eastman — the guy behind the effort to pressure VP Mike Pence to not certify the 2020 election and get behind the fake Trump electors scheme.

Last night the Washington Post was first to report that the Jan. 6 Select Committee obtained copies of emails between Ginni Thomas, a longtime conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Eastman. Neither the Post nor the New York Times could confirm what exactly the Ginni Thomas-Eastman email chain contains or when it occurred, but the emails reportedly reveal that Ginni Thomas’ attempts to help Trump and allies overturn the election results were more expansive than we previously knew.

We know that Ginni Thomas was texting with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the days after the 2020 election, pushing him to keep the Big Lie pressure on in full force. We also know that Ginni Thomas had ties to some groups that organized the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6. We know that Trump trusted her quite a bit.

While the details of the communication with Eastman is not yet clear, the news came the same day that the Times reported that Eastman was emailing with one of Trump’s lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro — whom Josh Kovensky spoke to exclusively here — about his knowledge of some drama among Supreme Court justices. According to the Times, Eastman told Chesebro that he had some intel about a “heated fight” between SCOTUS justices over whether the high court should hear cases related to Trump’s legal challenges to the 2020 election. From the Times:

“So the odds 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 pro-Trump lawyer, 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.”

Eastman, for his part, released a statement today downplaying the communication he had with Ginni Thomas:

Whether or not those news accounts were true, I can categorically confirm that at no time did I discuss with Mrs. Thomas or Justice Thomas any matters pending or likely to come before the Court. We have never engaged in such discussions, would not engage in such discussions, and did not do so in December 2020 or anytime else. As for the email communications I had with Mrs. Thomas? As you can see for yourselves, she invited me to give an update about election litigation to a group she met with periodically. Those from the January 6 committee who leaked a false impression about that email should be ashamed of themselves, but the Post should be embarrassed for running a story based on their false innuendo.

Again, we don’t know what the two emailed about but the emails were apparently enough to get Cheney and Thompson to publicly suggest they wanted to hear from Ginni Thomas, after the committee said previously that it wouldn’t call her for testimony.

Ginni Thomas told the Daily Caller this afternoon that she “looks forward” to talking to the select committee and “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions.”

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

In case you missed it this afternoon, Josh Kovensky’s exclusive piece: Trump Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro On His Role In The Runup To Jan. 6

The latest from on today’s hearings from Matt Shuham: Trump’s Top Election Theft Lawyers Didn’t Even Believe Their Own B.S.

Catch up on our live coverage here: Jan. 6 Hearing: A Spotlight On Trump’s Pence Pressure Campaign

This is also happening: DOJ Says Jan. 6 Committee Hasn’t Provided Transcripts Of Depositions

NYT: DOJ Probes Trump Lawyers Over Fake Elector Scheme

New Mexico Supreme Court Orders Rogue GOP Commission To Recognize Election Results

WATCH: Courtroom Blow Up From WI Election ‘Investigator’

From ProPublica: White Parents Rallied To Chase A Black Educator Out Of Town. Then, They Followed Her To The Next One.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

A Far Right Law Enforcement Movement Is Fueling The Effort To Infiltrate Voting Machines — Matt Shuham

What We Are Reading

Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann is making news this week for more than his Jan. 6 select panel testimony. So we looked into his art. — Betsy Woodruff Swan

The Real Villain in the Gentrification Story — Jerusalem Demsas

Bill Clinton: ‘Fair chance’ US could ‘completely lose’ its democratic system — Judy Kurtz

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: