Ginni Thomas says she regrets post-election texts to Meadows

Dec 30, 2022, 12:30 AM | Updated: 2:51 pm
FILE - Conservative activist Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Th...

FILE - Conservative activist Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, walks to a room at the O'Neill House Office Building, part of the Capitol complex, for an interview with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, says she regrets sending texts to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows after the 2020 election, telling the House Jan. 6 committee that “I would take them all back if I could today.”

Thomas — known as Ginni — is a longtime conservative activist. In a transcript of the interview released by the panel on Friday, she told investigators she was “emotional” after the election when she sent several texts to Meadows urging him to stand firm with then-President Donald Trump as he falsely claimed that there was widespread fraud in the election.

In the texts, she bemoaned the state of American politics and called the election a “heist.” Thomas told the panel she still feels there were election irregularities, but she does believe that Joe Biden is the president of the United States.

“You know, it was an emotional time,” Thomas told the committee. “I’m sorry these texts exist.”

The nine-member panel sought Thomas’s interview, and she appeared voluntarily. While Thomas urged Meadows to act, and she is married to one of nine Supreme Court justices who were at the time reviewing Trump’s election challenges, investigators did not believe she played a major role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election or his inaction as the violent insurrection unfolded. Her name does not appear once in the committee’s final report released last week.

Still, the committee sought to speak to her as it built a comprehensive account of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and the weeks beforehand. The committee’s chairman and vice chairwoman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said the panel wanted to speak to her after her name came up in communications with other witnesses.

Thomas’ attorney Mark Paoletta said in a statement Friday that her absence from the report was a conclusion that “was obvious from the beginning” and that her post-election activities were “minimal and mainstream.”

In the interview, Thomas characterized herself as an “instigator” of Groundswell and other conservative advocacy groups that have met weekly as a coalition for years. She and her husband are longtime associates of conservative lawyer John Eastman, an architect of the scheme to have several 2020 battleground states send alternative electors for Trump, rather than Biden.

Thomas said that while she was interested in pursuing claims of voter fraud, she had largely stepped aside during the aftermath of the election because she felt her presence as the wife of Justice Thomas often “chilled” the discussion. She insisted she operated separately from her husband.

“It’s laughable for anyone who knows my husband to think I could influence his jurisprudence,” she said. “The man is independent and stubborn.”

Thomas said throughout the interview that she still had concerns about election fraud, but offered little evidence. Pressed by the investigators about her post-election efforts to challenge the election results, Thomas demurred.

When the panel told her that Trump-aligned attorney Cleta Mitchell testified under oath that Thomas had asked her about potential fraud in Georgia’s elections, Thomas said she could not recall the conversation.

“I don’t have any memory of it,” Thomas told investigators. “Anything I was doing was looking for fraud and irregularities in the election, not to overturn it.”

Multiple times, the lawmakers delved more pointedly into Thomas’s responses — and she had few specifics to offer in return.

“I think I understood you to say you never saw any list of fraud or irregularities,” Cheney asked her at one point.

“Right,” Thomas responded. “I know. I wasn’t very deep.”

“But you’re confident there was fraud and irregularities?” Cheney continued.

“I was hearing it, Congresswoman, from a lot of people I trust,” Thomas said.

Cheney asked Thomas if she was aware that Trump’s own advisers, attorney general and others had told him there was no fraud that would change the outcome of the election.

“That was news to me, Congresswoman,” Thomas replied.

Cheney asked when she became aware of that.

“I think sometime after this committee started its work,” Thomas replied.

But Thomas said even if she had been aware, it wouldn’t change her views. “I just think there’s still concerns,” Thomas said, while also acknowledging that Biden is the president.

Over and again, the panel confronted Thomas with her own words, including a text to Meadows a week after the election in which she suggested attorney Sidney Powell “will help the cavalry come and fraud exposed and America saved.” Powell was behind some of the most outrageous claims by Trump’s allies, including that foreign countries were hacking voting machines.

Thomas explained to investigators that at the time she didn’t really know Powell, and as she learned more in the weeks to come, “I kind of got off that train.”

She also told investigators she reached out to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as she tried to encourage the defeated president’s team to investigate potential voter fraud after the 2020 election.

“I was trying to buck him up and encourage him to stand firm until all the evidence is in,” Thomas told investigators she wrote to Kushner in an email.

At one point, she did elicit sympathy from the investigators.

“I think it might be a unanimous view of everyone on this call and in this room that I don’t know how many of you would want your texts to become public on the front page of The Washington Post,” Thomas said, referring to the first reports of her communications.

“I understand that,” said California Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democratic member of the committee. “And I’m sure you’re right, no would like to see their personal texts in the newspaper.”


Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A sign is shown on a Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif., Sept. 24, 201...
Associated Press

Google hopes ‘Bard’ will outsmart ChatGPT, Microsoft in AI

Google is girding for a battle of wits in the field of artificial intelligence with “Bard," a conversational service apparently aimed at countering the popularity of the ChatGPT tool backed by Microsoft.
1 day ago
A sign stands on a quiet day in what used to be AmericaÅfs largest overseas naval base at the Subi...
Associated Press

US forces returning to Philippines to counter China threats

SUBIC BAY, Philippines (AP) — Once-secret ammunition bunkers and barracks lay abandoned, empty and overrun by weeds — vestiges of American firepower in what used to be the United States’ largest overseas naval base at Subic Bay in the northern Philippines. But that may change in the near future. The U.S. has been taking steps […]
1 day ago
Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe, left, arrives at the parliament to deliver his policy sp...
Associated Press

Sri Lankan leader appeals for patience amid economic crisis

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president on Wednesday appealed for patience amid the country’s worst economic crisis but promised brighter times ahead. President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a policy speech after inaugurating a new parliamentary session that he had been forced to make unpopular decisions to salvage the country’s finances, including by implementing […]
1 day ago
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a media conference after the EU-Ukraine summit in...
Associated Press

Zelenskyy to visit UK for first time since Russia’s invasion

LONDON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Britain on Wednesday, his first trip to the U.K. since Russia’s invasion began nearly a year ago and only his second confirmed journey outside Ukraine during the war. The British government says Zelenskyy will hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, address Parliament and meet with […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Indonesian police in Bali detain Australian wanted by Italy

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — Police on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have detained an Australian who is wanted by Italy since 2016 on drug trafficking charges. Antonio Strangio, who holds dual Italian and Australian citizenship, was detained at Bali International Airport after arriving from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last Thursday, said Antonius Parlindungan, an immigration […]
1 day ago
South Korean rescue team members prepare to board a plane to leave for quake-ravaged Turkey at the ...
Associated Press

Global quake rescue effort hits ground in Turkey, Syria

Medical personnel, soldiers, and handlers with trained search dogs sent from around the world are arriving in Turkey and Syria to help rescue survivors of Monday’s earthquake. Here’s a glance at the assistance being provided: — The European Union has mobilized search and rescue teams to help Turkey, while the bloc’s Copernicus satellite system has […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Ginni Thomas says she regrets post-election texts to Meadows