MADISON, Wis. — The wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas contacted at least two Wisconsin state lawmakers, including the chair of the Senate elections committee, urging them to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win in the tightly contested state, emails obtained Thursday by The Associated Press show.
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a conservative activist, also had sent messages to more than two dozen lawmakers in Arizona.
Thomas encouraged Republicans to elect their own slate after the election in her communication with legislators in both states. She claimed that fraud had resulted in Biden winning the state. There has not been widespread fraud in the state despite many reviews, lawsuits and recounts.
The Washington Post first reported the emails on Thursday. They were received exactly at the same time by Wisconsin state senator Kathy Bernier, and by state rep. Gary Tauchen. The email Tauchen was sent to Bernier was received by the Associated Press (AP) and Documented (watchdog group).
They were almost identical to the emails Thomas sent to Arizona legislators.
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Thomas failed to respond immediately to a request to comment made by the court on Thursday.
In a phone interview, Bernier said that she didn’t recall ever receiving an email from Thomas. It was just one of many emails Thomas received at the time, and it wasn’t the first. This message was sent via the FreeRoots platform, which allows mass mailing pre-written emails. Bernier stated that Thomas was not in touch with her, other than receiving the email.
“Please stand strong in the face of political and media pressure,” Thomas wrote in the emails received by the Wisconsin lawmakers. “Please reflect on the awesome authority granted to you by our Constitution. And then please take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen for our state.”
Bernier said Thursday that she didn’t fault Thomas for sending the message, which she doesn’t recall reading at the time.
“Ginni is not a constituent, so therefore not top priority to respond to,” Bernier said. “And so I am sure we did not respond to her.”
Bernier, who has been outspoken in saying there was no widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin’s election that Biden fairly won, said she had no issue with Thomas contacting her about the election.
“I don’t believe this is hair raising crazy stuff that everybody’s making it out to be,” she said of the Thomas email. “There were a lot of Republicans at the time that thought there was massive voter fraud. … I’m sure she would have preferred taking it back, especially after all of the evidence.”
Tauchen did not respond to a spokesperson.
Clarence Thomas was the only member of the Supreme Court who voted against the court’s order allowing the U.S. House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, to obtain Trump records that were held by the National Archives and Records Administration. In January, court members voted to grant the request to the committee.
Ginni Thomas’s role in the plot to overturn the 2020 election won by Biden is being looked at by members of the House committee investigating the riot. In June, the committee requested that she sit down for an interview.
Associated Press journalist Mark ShermanWashington also contributed to the report.
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