WASHINGTON — Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, appeared on Thursday for a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The committee has for months sought an interview with Thomas in an effort to know more about her role in trying to help former President Donald Trump overturn his election defeat. She texted with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in the weeks after the election.
Thomas’ appearance on Capitol Hill was confirmed by two people familiar with the committee’s work who were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
She did not answer questions when she arrived for the interview or later when she briefly left for a break. But Thomas did tell reporters she was looking forward to answering questions from the members of the committee.
The testimony from Thomas — known as Ginni — was one of the remaining items for the panel as it eyes the completion of its work. The panel has already interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and shown some of that video testimony in its eight hearings over the summer.
Thomas’ attorney, Mark Paoletta, said last week that Thomas had agreed to meet with the panel and is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election.”
The extent of her involvement in the Capitol attack is unclear. In the days after The Associated Press and other news organizations called the presidential election for Biden, Thomas emailed two lawmakers in Arizona to urge them to choose “a clean slate of Electors” and “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.” The AP obtained the emails earlier this year under the state’s open records law.
She has said in interviews that she attended the initial pro-Trump rally the morning of Jan. 6 but left before Trump spoke and the crowds headed for the Capitol.
Thomas, a Trump supporter long active in conservative causes, has repeatedly maintained that her political activities posed no conflict of interest with the work of her husband.
“Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles, and aspirations for America. 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,” Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview published in March.
Justice Thomas was the lone dissenting voice when the Supreme Court ruled in January to allow a congressional committee access to presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes relating to the events of Jan. 6.
Ginni Thomas has been openly critical of the committee’s work, including signing onto a letter to House Republicans calling for the expulsion of Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois from the GOP conference for joining the Jan. 6 congressional committee.
Associated Press video journalist Rick Gentilo contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at https://apnews.com/hub/capitol-siege
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