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Jan. 6 panel sends request to Ginni Thomas after she says she looks ‘forward to talking’


By Shawna Mizelle and Tierney Sneed, CNN

House January 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson on Thursday said the panel investigating the US Capitol attack has sent a letter to Virginia “Ginni” Thomas asking her to speak with them about her role in the effort to overturn the 2020 electoral results.

Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, appears open to speaking with the committee, telling conservative outlet The Daily Caller that she “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions.”

“I look forward to talking to them,” she said in the interview published Thursday.

The panel’s request follows revelations late Wednesday that the committee is in possession of email correspondence between Thomas and conservative attorney John Eastman, according to a source familiar with the committee.

The source who spoke with CNN would not provide details on the emails’ contents or say if they were direct messages between the two or part of a larger group correspondence. A separate source said the emails were part of a tranche of messages provided to the committee after a federal judge ruled that Eastman’s correspondence was pertinent to the committee’s work investigating former President Donald Trump and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the months leading up to January 6, 2021.

Thomas has received criticism over her political activism and involvement in efforts to push claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. She previously admitted that she had attended the rally that preceded the violent attack on the US Capitol on January 6, but left early. Some progressives and some legal ethics experts see her activism as a conflict of interest for her husband, who serves on the nation’s highest court.

Previously revealed text messages between Thomas and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, obtained by the committee, showed that Thomas regularly checked in with Meadows to encourage him to push claims of voter fraud and work to prevent the election from being certified.

Thomas has repeatedly said that her political activism has nothing to do with her husband’s work on the Supreme Court. Justice Thomas has participated in Supreme Court cases related to 2020 election controversies and has refused to recuse himself from related cases.

Eastman on Thursday “categorically” denied that he had discussions with Thomas and her husband about “any matters pending or likely to come before the Court.” “We have never engaged in such discussions, would not engage in such discussions, and did not do so in December 2020 or anytime else,” he wrote in part in a post on his Substack.

He suggested that a recently reported email he sent in December 2020, in which he stated that he understood there to be “a heated fight underway” at the Supreme Court, had been prompted by a report from an outlet called Vision Times.

Thompson on Thursday dismissed Justice Department complaints that the House committee release all of its transcripts to help with the department’s investigation, saying it would turn over transcripts to the department “in due time.”

“We are not going to stop what we are doing to share the information that we’ve gotten so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our work,” he said.

Asked if the panel would be doing so by the end of the week, the congressman responded “No,” but added, “That does not mean that we are not going to cooperate.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” Thursday evening that part of the issue is the breadth of what the Justice Department is requesting.

“I’ve been involved in several high-profile investigations, I’ve never seen the Justice Department say, ‘Give us all your files,’ ” the California Democrat said. “I think the challenge is the breadth of their request, but we’re going to work through it and make sure they get what they need.”

“We’re working with them to make sure they get what they need, consistent with our own investigative needs,” Schiff said. “We want them to be successful. We want them to bring to justice anyone who broke the law, and we’re confident we will be able to help them pursue any of the lawbreakers involved.”

This story has been updated with further developments Thursday.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Lauren Koenig, Morgan Rimmer and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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