- The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is expected to seek an interview with Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
- The development in the probe follows the reported revelation of text messages from after the 2020 election showing her urging then-President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to try to overturn Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
- The committee in a closed-door meeting Monday evening will discuss whether to call Thomas to appear regarding those texts, NBC News reported, citing two sources.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is expected to seek an interview with Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, multiple media outlets reported Monday.
Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, in a series of text messages in late 2020 had urged then-President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows to try to overturn Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Those texts, which the committee obtained from Meadows, publicly came to light last week.
The committee will discuss in a closed-door meeting Monday evening whether to call Thomas to appear before the panel for questioning over those texts, NBC News reported, citing two sources. CNN first reported that the panel is likely to reach out to Thomas in the coming weeks.
That discussion will follow another meeting in which the committee will vote to recommend that the House hold Trump allies Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro in contempt for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
Meanwhile, on the morning of the vote, a federal judge ruled in a civil court case that Trump-allied lawyer John Eastman must hand over more than 100 documents subpoenaed by the House investigators. The judge's ruling also said that Trump likely broke the law by "corruptly" attempting to obstruct Congress from confirming Biden's win.
The bipartisan select committee is tasked with investigating the facts and causes surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in which hundreds of Trump's supporters violently overwhelmed police officers and stormed into the U.S. Capitol. The mob temporarily derailed Congress' efforts to confirm Biden's victory over Trump in the 2020 election.
The House panel has interviewed more than 500 witnesses, received tens of thousands of documents and issued at least 80 subpoenas related to the probe. But targeting the wife of Thomas, a sitting Supreme Court justice and a conservative favorite, would mark a politically volatile development in a probe that has already faced a barrage of Republican accusations of partisan bias.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told NBC that Justice Thomas should recuse himself from any cases related to the Jan. 6 riot that come before the high court.
Durbin said it would be "the ultimate conflict of interest" for Thomas to participate in a case "where his wife is frequently contacting the chief of staff for the president giving advice on matters that are going to be ultimately litigated by the court."
"For the good of the court, I think he should recuse himself from those cases," Durbin said.
Asked about the controversy Monday afternoon, Biden said the question of Thomas' recusal should be left up to the Jan. 6 committee and the Department of Justice.
A cache of 29 text messages between Thomas and Meadows was reportedly found among the more than 2,000 messages Meadows gave to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot by a mob of Trump's supporters.
After news outlets projected Biden the winner of the 2020 election, Thomas on Nov. 10 reportedly wrote Meadows: "Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!...You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America's constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History."
On Nov. 24, Meadows reportedly texted Thomas: "This is a fight of good versus evil ... Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it."
The texts were revealed days after the Supreme Court revealed that Clarence Thomas, 73, had been hospitalized with an infection. Thomas was discharged Friday morning, a week after he was admitted for "flulike symptoms," according to the court.
Thomas did not participate in oral arguments before the court last week. He participated remotely during Monday's oral arguments.