Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined progressive calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to step down amid a barrage of criticism over his wife’s involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“Clarence Thomas should resign,” the New York Democrat said in a tweet Tuesday.
“If not, his failure to disclose income from right-wing organizations, recuse himself from matters involving his wife, and his vote to block the Jan 6th commission from key information must be investigated and could serve as grounds for impeachment,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. (In 2011, Thomas was accused of failing to report $687,000 his wife earned from the right-wing Heritage Foundation over several years, instead checking a box on a disclosure form indicating she earned no income.)
Other lawmakers are calling on the high court to explain what appears to be a clear ethical lapse. Thomas has not recused himself from any Supreme Court cases relating to the 2020 election or the Capitol riot.
Thomas was the only justice to side with former President Donald Trump’s failed legal attempt to prevent House investigators from getting their hands on a vast trove of his presidential records. Ocasio-Cortez told Axios that she supported an investigation of Thomas’ behavior that would address his “rationale behind being the sole dissent” in the Trump records case.
On Monday, a group of 22 members of Congress, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) sent Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts a letter demanding a written explanation. They called on Thomas to recuse himself from future cases relating to the election or the riot, saying federal law requires a judge to step aside in any case “in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
″[G]iven the recent disclosures about Ms. Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election and her specific communications with White House officials about doing so, Justice Thomas’s participation in cases involving the 2020 election and the January 6th attack is exceedingly difficult to reconcile with federal ethics requirements,” the letter says.
A handful of other Democrats told Politico they also believe Thomas should step down or face impeachment, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), who last week posted a tweet calling for Thomas’ resignation, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who said he should be impeached.
Thomas’ wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, has long stirred criticisms on the left for her conservative activism. But recent weeks have brought shocking new revelations. The Washington Post published text messages between Virginia Thomas and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent in the aftermath of the 2020 election illustrating her relentless push to overturn President Joe Biden’s win at a time when some Republicans wanted the Supreme Court to intervene.
“Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!” she wrote in one text after the election was called for Biden. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
Earlier this month, Thomas revealed that she had been present at former President Donald Trump’s Washington rally on Jan. 6, protesting the results of the election.
Several outlets reported this week that the House select committee investigating the riot planned to ask Virginia Thomas to sit for an interview.