Wife of Clarence Thomas says she attended Jan. 6 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the longtime conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, attended the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, according to an article published Monday.
The previously unknown detail, based on an interview Ginni Thomas gave to the conservative media outlet Washington Free Beacon, comes amid renewed questions over the potential ethical implications of Thomas’s political activism on her husband’s judicial position.
Thomas told the outlet she attended the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse but got cold and left before former President Trump took the stage at noon. Dubbed “Stop the Steal,” the event promoted Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 election, which fueled the deadly insurrection later that day.
“I was disappointed and frustrated that there was violence that happened following a peaceful gathering of Trump supporters on the Ellipse on Jan. 6,” Thomas told the outlet. “There are important and legitimate substantive questions about achieving goals like electoral integrity, racial equality, and political accountability that a democratic system like ours needs to be able to discuss and debate rationally in the political square. I fear we are losing that ability.”
The Supreme Court’s public information office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ginni Thomas’s support for Trump and the Jan. 6 rally — which caused a rift within the close-knit community of former clerks to Justice Thomas and prompted her last year to apologize to the group — was previously reported by The Washington Post, which reviewed posts she made on the group’s message board. But Monday’s article in the Washington Free Beacon was the first time she publicly acknowledged having attended the event.
Thomas’s interview comes after recent reports in the New Yorker and New York Times Magazine renewed questions about whether her involvement in conservative causes raised ethical issues related to her husband’s life-tenured position as one of the nation’s nine most powerful jurists, who often presides over politically charged disputes.
Their relationship came under similar scrutiny when Justice Thomas, also a staunch conservative, was alone among the justices in January in indicating that he would have granted Trump’s request to block a trove of his administration’s records from being handed to the House committee investigating the circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack, with critics arguing Thomas should have recused himself given his wife’s political activities.
In the interview published Monday, Thomas emphasized that her political involvement is entirely walled off from her husband’s work.
“Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles, and aspirations for America,” she said. “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.”