The in-your-face activism comes in the wake of stinging criticism of Thomas’ high-profile support of extremist right-wing politics even as her husband continues to rule in support of some of the same issues, raising serious conflict-of-interest concerns.
“Conservative organizations and the millions of grassroots conservatives ... are united in our support of the 20 courageous members of Congress seeking to change the status quo in Washington,” said an open letter published Wednesday by the Conservative Action Project organization and signed by Thomas and about 70 other right-wing activists and organization officials.
“We stand behind them and beside them in their courageous efforts to find a Speaker of the House who will represent the interests of conservatives,” the letter added.
Most of the 20 “courageous” lawmakers, as they’re referred to in the letter, who have voted against McCarthy in his repeated bids to become speaker had denied the results of the 2020 presidential election, despite no evidence of their claims of widespread voter fraud.
Thomas backed the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrectionists, even though she testified to members of the House select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot that she had no evidence of election fraud.
Text messages previously released by the committee revealed how Ginni Thomas relentlessly pushed Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to do what he could to subvert the 2020 election results and keep Trump in power.
Thomas was joined in signing the letter by Cleta Mitchell, the controversial attorney who was on the phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffesnperger after the 2020 election when the then-president demanded that Raffensperger “find” just enough votes to change his loss to Joe Biden into a victory. That phone call is now at the center of a Georgia grand jury investigation.
Mitchell plotted with the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council to challenge the election in the event Trump lost months before a single vote was cast. Lisa Nelson, the CEO of ALEC, announced to members in early 2020 that the organization had been working with Mitchell on “action items that legislators can take to question the validity” of the election, according to a recording obtained by the watchdog group Documented.
Thomas has been the target of stinging criticism for her role in extremist right-wing politics even as her husband rules on issues dear to her heart.
Supreme Court justices were divided over 2020 election issues but ultimately refused to accept Trump’s claims of election rigging. Clarence Thomas, however, stood out for emphasizing ballot fraud in sympathy with those who, like his wife, refused to accept the results.
He has also stood apart when other justices refused to block the work of the Jan. 6 committee, even while his wife was affected by the decision. Federal law requires all federal judges to recuse themselves from cases in which they cannot be impartial.
Norman Orenstein, emeritus scholar of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has called it a massive “scandal” that Clarence Thomas continues to rule on issues his “radical insurrectionist” wife is involved in.
As for McCarthy, the House adjourned until Friday after he lost an 11th vote to become speaker.