Washington — Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a conservative activist who is married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, revealed in a new interview that she attended the January 6, 2021, rally outside the White House that occurred before a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters descended on the U.S. Capitol, disrupting the joint session of Congress.
Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview she was in the crowd at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6, but left early when she got cold and returned home before the former president addressed the crowd of his backers.
During his speech, Trump repeated his baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was rife with voter fraud and urged those assembled to march down to the Capitol in protest of the outcome of the election.
"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 Free Beacon, a conservative publication. "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 New York Times reported in February that Thomas played a "peacekeeping role" between factions of rally organizers, but she rejected that claim and others involving her purported role in the rally.
"I played no role with those who were planning and leading the January 6 events," she told the Free Beacon. "There are stories in the press suggesting I paid or arranged for buses. I did not. There are other stories saying I mediated feuding factions of leaders for that day. I did not."
Thomas' conservative activism and support for Trump has come under scrutiny in recent months, particularly when the former president asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a dispute between him and the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol.
The justices ultimatelyTrump's emergency request to stop the National Archives and Records Administration from turning over reams of his White House documents, though Clarence Thomas was the only member of the court to note his dissent.
Thomas, who runs a political consulting firm, defended her work in politics to the Free Beacon and sought to dispel any concerns about her husband's work on the court.
"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."
The "legal lane" is her husband's, Thomas continued, and she told the Free Beacon the couple does not discuss cases until opinions are made public.
Decisions on when to recuse themselves from a case due to conflicts of interest largely fall to the justices themselves, but judicial groups have called for more transparency and accountability surrounding recusals and conflicts.
President Biden's Commission on the Supreme Court, which studied possible reforms to the nation's highest court, noted in its final report that requiring justices to explain their reasons for recusal "could enhance the transparency" of the process and serve as guidance to other justices.
Appointed to the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush, Clarence Thomas, 73, has served on the court since 1991 and is among its most conservative members.
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