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capitol riot aftermath

Ginni Thomas acknowledges attending 'Stop the Steal' rally, but denies organizing it

Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has for the first time publicly admitted that she attended the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6, 2021, that took place before the Capitol riot.

Thomas acknowledged participating in the rally in an interview with the conservative Washington Free Beacon that was published Monday, saying she briefly attended the event at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., but left before former President Donald Trump spoke because she was cold. Trump and other speakers that day falsely claimed that there was widespread voter fraud and he was cheated out of a victory.

"I was disappointed and frustrated that there was violence that happened following a peaceful gathering of Trump supporters on the Ellipse on Jan. 6," Thomas told the Free Beacon. "There are important and legitimate substantive questions about achieving goals like electoral integrity, racial equality, and political accountability that a democratic system like ours needs to be able to discuss and debate rationally in the political square. I fear we are losing that ability." She also denied reports that she was involved in organizing the rally.

Thomas' activism has overlapped several times with cases decided by her husband, The Washington Post notes; in December, she signed a letter that called the work of the bipartisan House select committee investigating the Capitol riot "overtly partisan political persecution," and the next month, Justice Thomas was the only member of the Supreme Court to say he would grant Trump's request to shield White House documents from the committee.

Ginni Thomas downplayed the intersection of their work, telling the Free Beacon, "Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principals, and aspirations for America. But we have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions, too. Clarence doesn't discuss his work with me, and I don't involve him in my work."

Supreme Court justices decide whether to recuse themselves, and Gabe Roth, executive director of the nonpartisan advocacy group Fix the Court, told the Post that Justice Thomas should have sat out the House committee case because of Ginni Thomas' "participation in that rally, which then led to the breach of the Capitol, which then lead to the Jan. 6 committee ... that means that you, as a justice, your impartiality still might reasonably be questioned." Read more at The Washington Post.