Speed Reads

'a tired old tactic'

Mitch McConnell defends 'exemplary' Clarence Thomas from the left's 'clumsy bullying'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went after the left on Wednesday following a smattering of calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself in Capitol riot and 2020 election-related cases, Axios reports.

The "new and inappropriate pressure campaign," as McConnell referred to it, arrived after it was revealed that Thomas' wife repeatedly messaged then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to try and overturn the 2020 election. Now, some House progressives —like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — have even gone so far as to raise the possibility of impeachment.

"The left's quest to delegitimize the Supreme Court found its latest outlet," McConnell said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. "This time it's a coordinated effort to nullify the presence of Justice Clarence Thomas on the court."

The minority leader said Democrats are "dusting off their party's impeachment addiction," and engaging in "a tired old tactic" to request that justices recuse themselves over "spurious accusations about fake ethical problems or partiality."

It's a "well-worn pattern," McConnell claimed, and has "no basis in Justice Thomas' decades of impeccable service on the court."

"This clumsy bullying from the political branches is really beyond the pale. Justice Thomas is an exemplary jurist who has modeled fidelity to the rule of law for more than 30 years and counting," he said.

McConnell first defended Thomas following initial reports of his wife's texts, The Hill notes.