Ginni Thomas' lawyer questions "basis" for Jan. 6 committee interview
A lawyer for conservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent a letter Tuesday to the Jan. 6 select committee questioning what value her testimony would be to the panel's investigation.
Why it matters: The committee decided to seek testimony from Thomas earlier this month after it emerged she had contact with John Eastman, a lawyer at the heart of some of former President Trump's efforts to overturn the election.
- Eastman was a major focus during in the committee's Jun. 16 hearing on Trump's pressure campaign against former Vice President Mike Pence.
- The conservative legal scholar has denied discussing the Supreme Court's deliberations on 2020 election cases with Thomas, and posted a copy of their correspondence in which she asked him to speak to a group about his work on election litigation.
What they're saying: "Based on my understanding of the facts the Committee has in its possession, I do not believe there is currently a sufficient basis to speak with Mrs. Thomas," Thomas' lawyer Mark Paoletta wrote to the committee in a letter obtained by Axios.
- He said the email posted by Eastman has little relevance to the probe and that other Eastman emails he reviewed are "even less interesting."
- He characterized texts Thomas sent Meadows pushing him to help overturn the election as "simply texting with a friend" in her "personal capacity as a private citizen."
- He also suggested that Thomas' marriage to a Supreme Court justice is a factor, writing, "I am left to believe that, if her name were Ginni Jones, the Committee would never even entertain speaking with her."
What's next: Paoletta said he wants the panel to provide "more information" on how what they've obtained about Thomas is "relevant to the Committee's legislative purpose."
- "Perhaps the Committee has more information that would establish that basis [for an interview], and I am willing to reconsider my recommendation if you make this information available," he wrote.
Between the lines: The letter echoes responses from other potential witnesses who have no intention of sitting for an interview.
- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohi0), in rebuffing a subpoena from the panel last month, wrote that he has "no relevant information that would advance any legislative purpose" and requested, among other things, an advance look at all materials they planned to introduce during questioning.
A select committee spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Axios.