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Tipsheet

'I Hope It Doesn't Get to That': Cheney Confirms Who the J6 Committee May Subpoena Next

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) confirmed the January 6 Committee’s next target: Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife. 

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Cheney, who is vice chair of the committee, said they’re currently in talks with Thomas’s counsel and they may subpoena her if she doesn’t cooperate. 

The committee is supposedly seeking more information about Thomas’s communication as a private citizen with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, among others, about continuing to fight to overturn the 2020 election results.  

"Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly corresponded with then White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trump lawyer John Eastman, who was pushing this deranged theory," CNN host Jake Tapper said Sunday on "State of the Union." 

"She was writing to them about efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, not to mention her correspondence with Arizona lawmakers pushing fake electors," Tapper continued. "Is your committee planning on talking to Ginni Thomas, even though her lawyer has expressed a reluctance to cooperate?"

Cheney confirmed they are. 

"We certainly hope that she will agree to come in voluntarily,” she said. “But the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not. I hope it doesn't get to that. I hope she will come in voluntarily. We've certainly spoken with numbers of people who are similarly situated in terms of the discussions that she was having that you've mentioned. So, it's very important for us to speak with her. And as I said, I hope she will agree to do so voluntarily. But I'm sure we will contemplate a subpoena if she won't." 

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In a letter to the House select committee last month, a lawyer for Thomas said he "does not believe there is currently a sufficient basis to speak with" her. He also expressed concern that the sole reason she was being asked to speak with the committee was "to continue the baseless harassment she has been subjected to since January 6."

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, meanwhile, believes it's not about Ginni at all, but rather is an attempt to 'trash' Justice Thomas. 

[C]ommittee member Adam Schiff gave away the real game, as he often does. Asked Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if this would set a “dangerous precedent,” Mr. Schiff went to the heart of his political goal:

“In this case, for Clarence Thomas to issue a decision, in a case of dissent, in a case where Congress is trying to get documents, and those documents might involve his own wife, that’s the line that’s been crossed. And I think, for Congress to be looking into these issues, looking into conflict of interest issues. But here, looking into issues whether it involves the wife of a Supreme Court justice or anyone else, if they have information or role in an effort to overturn an election. Yes, they’re not excluded from examination.”

Mr. Schiff is referring to a January dissent by Justice Thomas in a case involving Mr. Trump’s attempt to block Congress from obtaining certain documents. Justice Thomas was the lone dissenter and offered no explanation. Mr. Schiff is implying that Justice Thomas was deciding based on the views of his wife or to help Mr. Trump, though he has no evidence for the charge.

That’s the kind of innuendo Mr. Schiff specialized in during the Russia collusion probe, when he was caught making claims supposedly based on classified information that turned out to be false. Ms. Cheney keeps telling Republicans they ought to believe the committee’s findings, and much of that is compelling. But Mr. Schiff’s attempt to use a spouse to smear the reputation of a Supreme Court Justice will cause many to discount the entire effort. (WSJ)

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Thomas's lawyer also suggested in the letter that the real target may be Ginni's husband, pointing to "some animus" displayed toward the justice by Chairman Bennie Thompson, who referred to him as an "Uncle Tom" in 2014 for his views. He never backed down from that comment. 

"These statements by the Committee's Chairman certainly raise alarm bells when the Committee says that it wants to speak with Mrs. Thomas," Thomas's attorney wrote, underscoring "larger concerns" about the committee's fairness. 

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