A lawyer for Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and conservative activist, wrote in a letter to the Jan. 6 Select Committee on Tuesday requesting the panel provide “better justification” for why it wants to speak to her.
The move comes weeks after Thomas told the Daily Caller that she “looks forward” to speaking with the panel and “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions.” The panel sought her testimony after news broke that she was in contact with conservative lawyer John Eastman, who was a key player behind the pressure campaign to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to toss out the election results on Jan. 6. Multiple outlets reported the panel had obtained copies of emails between Thomas and Eastman, but the contents of those emails were unclear at the time. Ginni Thomas’ lawyer alluded to some of the email contents in his letter to the panel.
In his letter to the committee dated Tuesday, Ginni Thomas’ lawyer, Mark Paoletta, argues that the emails Eastman handed over to the committee did not provide a legal basis for the panel to interview Thomas.
“As she has already indicated, Mrs. Thomas is eager to clear her name and is willing to appear before the Committee to do so,” Paolettta wrote. “However, based on my understanding of the communications that spurred the Committee’s request, I do not understand the need to speak with Mrs. Thomas.”
Paoletta noted that his client has come under intense scrutiny due to the language the committee used in its letter requesting testimony — that the panel believes Ginni Thomas has information on Eastman’s “plans and activities” on or around Jan. 6. Paoletta claimed Eastman’s lawyer, Charles Burham, gave him copies of the documents that Eastman turned over to the panel. Paoletta wrote that those documents do not show that Thomas was familiar with Eastman’s “specific litigation efforts.”
Paoletta claimed that the panel is seeking Thomas’ testimony partly because of the invitation she extended to Eastman to speak to a group of activists.
“An invitation from Mrs. Thomas is an invitation to speak, and nothing more,” Paoletta wrote. “It is not an endorsement of the speaker’s views, nor is it any indication of a working relationship between the speaker and Mrs. Thomas. In fact, Mrs. Thomas often does not share the views of those invited leaders or activists.”
Additionally, Paoletta doubled down on Eastman’s denial that he and Thomas communicated about election litigation strategy at the Supreme Court.
“There is no evidence in the record or elsewhere to suggest that Mrs. Thomas engaged in any conservation, with any person, on any occasion, about the U.S. Supreme Court’s work. That is because no such evidence exists,” Paoletta wrote.
Paoletta also dismissed Thomas’ texts with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the days after the 2020 election, in which she urged him to keep the Big Lie alive, as an “entirely unremarkable” development where she was “simply texting with a friend.”
That dismissal is important given the timing. It’s unclear what time Paoletta sent the letter on Tuesday, but it was sent the same day the panel heard damning testimony from a top Meadows aide on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering and responses to the violence as it unfolded on Jan. 6.
The letter might compel the committee to publicly reveal what evidence it has on Ginni Thomas, a longtime conservative activist whose role in aiding those who tried to overturn the election has appeared increasingly expansive in recent weeks.