Mar 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Wyden calls on Justice Thomas to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Friday called on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any cases related to the investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the 2024 election if former President Trump runs.

Driving the news: Wyden's statement comes less than one day after text messages obtained by the Washington Post and CBS News revealed that Thomas' wife, Ginni Thomas, repeatedly urged Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to take measures to overturn the 2020 election results.

What he's saying: "Judges are obligated to recuse themselves when their participation in a case would create even the appearance of a conflict of interest. A person with an ounce of commonsense could see that bar is met here," Wyden said in a statement.

  • "At the bare minimum, Justice Thomas needs to recuse himself from any case related to the January 6th investigation, and should Donald Trump run again, any case related to the 2024 election."
  • “In light of new reporting from numerous outlets, Justice Thomas’ conduct on the Supreme Court looks increasingly corrupt," Wyden said.

The big picture Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also said Friday that Thomas should consider "voluntarily appearing" before the Jan. 6 select committee to answer questions about his wife's text messages with Meadows, CBS News reports.

  • Blumenthal said that Ginni Thomas should cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, saying, "There needs to be some public explanation," per CBS.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday that it is up to the justice himself as to whether he should recuse himself from cases related to Jan. 6.

  • "Justice Thomas can make his decisions as he's made them every other time. It's his decision based upon law," he said during a news conference at the House Republican retreat.

Go deeper: Report: Texts show Ginni Thomas pushed Meadows to help overturn 2020 election

Go deeper