WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eight House Democrats have asked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from former President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. election subversion case after Special Counsel Jack Smith elevated the case to the nation’s highest court last week.
The request, which came in the form of a letter sent on Friday, centers around the actions of Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, who was “intimately involved” in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to the group of Democrats led by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). Ginni Thomas is reported to have encouraged Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the results, promoted the rally that incited the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection and emailed state legislators asking them to vote for a fake set of Trump electors.
The letter points out that the Court’s newly announced, yet unenforceable, Code of Conduct states that “[a] Justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the Justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The code includes instances relating to a justice’s spouse who is known “to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding; or (iv) likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.”
Given that the case directly involves Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, which Ginni Thomas allegedly aided, the Democratic members argue that the details “raise serious questions about [Justice Thomas’] ability to be or even to appear impartial in any cases before the Supreme Court involving the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection.” They ask Thomas to resign.
The letter also highlights decreased trust in the Supreme Court and a public perception that the Court is flouting rules, including Thomas’ own action relating to luxury travel and ties to Republican donors.
In his case against Trump, Smith asked the Supreme Court to immediately consider “[w]hether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin” last Monday.