In an article published Monday by the right-wing Washington Free Beacon, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, revealed that she attended the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House on January 6, 2021, in support of Donald Trump’s extra-constitutional attempt to overthrow the election of Joe Biden.
Thomas’s admission follows recent reporting detailing her prominent role in far-right Republican activities, including the plot, in part via the Supreme Court, to block the certification of Biden and maintain Trump in power. These efforts culminated in the storming of the US Capitol by far-right and fascist forces shortly after Trump and Republican lawmakers and operatives addressed the rally attended by Thomas.
Thomas’s acknowledgment of her presence at the January 6 rally was evidently aimed at heading off new revelations that will further implicate the Thomases in Trump’s coup plot.
For most of her adult life, Virginia Thomas has been politically active in the far-right of the Republican Party, advocating, organizing and helping to implement measures to further empower the most rapacious sections of the financial oligarchy.
In a January interview with the New Yorker, writer Kurt Anderson—who grew up across the street from Thomas, whose maiden name was Virginia Lamp—explained that Virginia’s parents “were the roots of the modern, crazy Republican Party.”
Anderson continued: “My parents were [Barry] Goldwater Republicans, but even they thought the Lamp family was nuts.”
In 1968, Virginia’s mother, Marjorie Lamp, was a Republican National Committee delegate for Ronald Reagan. Eight years later, Virginia volunteered for the 1976 Reagan campaign. She would go on to become a lobbyist for the US Chamber of Commerce and a senior aide to then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey. She later worked for the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Virginia has used her relationship with Clarence, whom she married in 1987, four years before his accession to the Supreme Court, to advance their shared extreme right-wing political agenda. Recent articles have detailed Virginia Thomas’s numerous ties, current and former, to Republican-backed think tanks and organizations.
* She is one of nine board members of the Council for National Policy (CNP) Action. The New York Times reported in February that CNP Action distributed a document in November 2020 to its members instructing them to pressure Republican lawmakers to challenge the election results and appoint an “alternate slate of electors”—a scheme nearly identical to that advanced by Trump coup lawyer Rudy Giuliani. In a December 2, 2020, speech at the White House, Trump called on “the Supreme Court of the United States” to confirm “that millions of votes were cast illegally” and “do what’s right for our country.”
* Virginia Thomas has been on the advisory board of Turning Point USA, a pro-Trump group aimed at young people, whose founder, Charlie Kirk, has previously boasted of sending busloads of protesters to the Capitol on January 6, 2021. In a recently unearthed interview from January 6, Hitler-admirer Madison Cawthorn, a Republican congressman from North Carolina, called into the Charlie Kirk show during the attack and admitted to being “armed.”
“So you and [Republican Representative] Lauren Boebert, you guys are armed now, right?” Kirk asked Cawthorn, who replied, “Yes, indeed. Yes, indeed.” Cawthorn added that being in a wheelchair allowed him to carry “multiple weapons at one time ... so you know everyone around me is armed.”
* Thomas is the founder of a group called Groundswell, which she created “with the support of Stephen K. Bannon,” the New York Times reported more than a decade ago. The group, the Times wrote, “holds a weekly meeting of influential conservatives, many of whom work directly on issues that come before the court.”
As recently as 2019, Thomas described herself as the chairman of the invitation-only network of hard-right conservatives and fascists. Other current and former members of Groundswell include lead “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander and former Trump aide and member of the Hungarian fascist Order of the Vitez, Sebastian Gorka.
In the interview with the Free Beacon, Thomas claimed she “played no role” in planning the far-right rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. She does admit, however, that she was among the thousands of far-right Trump supporters, militia members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists summoned by Trump to violently stop the certification of an election he lost by over 7 million votes and a wide deficit in Electoral College votes.
Backing Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, Thomas told the FreeBeacon: “There are important and legitimate substantive questions about achieving goals like electoral integrity … 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.”
Thomas went on to say she was “disappointed and frustrated that there was violence that happened following a peaceful gathering of Trump supporters on the Ellipse on Jan. 6.”
But in Facebook posts written by Ms. Thomas the day of the attempted coup, she sounded anything but disappointed. In one post reported by Slate, Thomas linked to a news article about the ongoing attack, and wrote, “LOVE MAGA people!!!”
Shortly thereafter, she posted part of a speech by Ronald Reagan, saying now was “A Time for Choosing.” This was followed by another update, proclaiming, “GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU STANDING UP or PRAYING!”
The Free Beacon claimed that while Ginni Thomas admits to attending the rally, the organizers of which have been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee charged with investigating the attempted coup, she “got cold and left early.”
In the interview, Thomas did not clarify where she went after leaving the rally. However, Rolling Stone reporter Hunter Walker reported on Monday that “at least three sources” have told him “they believe they saw Ginni Thomas at the Willard on Jan. 6.”
The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, located across the street from the White House, served as a “command center” for the various pro-Trump elements, including lawyers, militia members and Republican politicians, who organized the then-president’s legal and paramilitary efforts to overthrow the election following his November defeat.
In her interview with the Free Beacon, Thomas attempted to refute allegations made against her by Dustin Stockton, a mid-level organizer in the Women For America First group, which were recently published in the New York Times. Stockton was previously subpoenaed by the House Select Committee and has been cooperating with House investigators since at least December 2021, no doubt in an attempt to avoid possible prosecution.
In the Times report, Stockton said Thomas played the role of peacekeeping arbiter between various pro-Trump groups in the interests of furthering Trump’s coup conspiracy.
“The way it was presented to me was that Ginni was uniting the different factions around a singular mission on January 6,” Stockton, a former employee of Trump White House advisor Stephen Bannon, told the newspaper. “That Ginni was involved made sense,” he said, adding that “she’s pretty neutral and she doesn’t have a lot of enemies in the movement.”
Less than a month after Stockton was subpoenaed by the House Committee, Thomas co-signed a December 15, 2021 letter, along with dozens of other pro-Trump leaders in the Republican Party, demanding that Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney and Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, the only two Republicans serving on the House January 6 Committee, be “immediately” expelled from the “Republican conference.”
The signatories cited Cheney and Kinzinger’s “egregious actions as part of the House of Representatives’ January 6th Select Committee.” The letter claimed the two were “part of [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s team,” and “have deliberately sought to undermine the privacy and due process of their fellow Republicans, and those of private citizens with improperly issued subpoenas and other investigatory tactics designed not to pursue any valid legislative end, but merely to exploit for the sake of political harassment and demagoguery.”
In her interview with the Free Beacon, Thomas claimed that her prominent role in Republican Party politics had no bearing on Clarence Thomas’s judicial rulings. “Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work,” she said.
This claim does not hold water. Over a decade ago, the World Socialist Web Site wrote about Virginia Thomas’s wide-ranging political activities, including her lobbying with Liberty Central, which she founded in 2009 and still operates today. Such public and partisan political activity on the part of a spouse, let alone activity in pursuit of goals antithetical to the US Constitution, is a gross violation of judicial ethics and arguably illegal.
“No spouse, to my knowledge, has ever actively lobbied other branches of government in the public sphere on issues before the justices like Ginni Thomas has,” Gabe Roth, the director of Fix the Court, a reformist organization that advocates for judicial transparency, recently told CNN.
This past January, the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s request, on specious grounds of “executive privilege,” that it intervene to stop the House January 6 Committee from accessing White House records from his term of office. Justice Thomas was the lone dissenter in the 8–1 decision.
That the Democrats have done nothing to challenge Virginia Thomas’s political activity “underscores the total prostration and indifference of liberalism to the steady march to the right by the political establishment and its abandonment of democratic principles,” wrote WSWS writer Tom Carter in November 2010.
This process has only accelerated in the last decade, exemplified by the fact that Trump and his co-conspirators, despite near-daily revelations exposing their criminality, remain free to continue their efforts to build a fascist movement and overthrow the Constitution more than 14 months after the failed coup.
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