The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: ginni thomas

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Ginni Thomas Pressured Arizona Lawmakers To Overturn 2020 Election

Far right wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Ginni Thomas pressed lawmakers in Arizona to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In emails she urged them to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure,” and send a “clean slate” of electors, falsely claiming the choice is “yours and yours alone.”

“The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear,” reports The Washington Post, which broke the news Friday. “In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.”

“Before you choose your state’s Electors … consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead,” an email bearing Ginni Thomas’ name, sent to the Arizona lawmakers, reads:

It included a link to a video of a man delivering a message meant for swing-state lawmakers, urging them to 'put things right' and 'not give in to cowardice.'

'You have only hours to act,' said the speaker, who is not identified in the video.

Thomas also pressed Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work to overturn the election, as has been widely reported.Her efforts, combined with Justice Thomas’ actions on the Supreme Court, amount to “breathtaking corruption,” writes Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern.“The conflict of interest between Ginni and Clarence Thomas has never been greater. While Clarence was applying the ‘independent state legislature doctrine’ from the bench, Ginni was using the exact same theory to try to overturn the 2020 election. Just breathtaking corruption,” Stern says.


He adds:


Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst and law professor, issued a strong warning:

“Either Justice Thomas recuses in every case that comes to the Court where his wife is heavily involved in the action or the public’s confidence in the Court will be damaged beyond repair.”


Reuters reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court, Lawrence Hurley:

Former federal corruption prosecutor Noah Bookbinder, who is president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says it is “outrageous” Justice Thomas has refused to recuse:

“New evidence that Ginni Thomas’s participation in efforts to overturn the 2020 election was even greater than we knew; in this case pressure on AZ legislators to overturn that state’s vote. Makes it even more outrageous that Justice Thomas did not recuse.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona legislators to overturn Biden’s win and choose a ‘clean slate of electors.’ In other words, she supported a coup to overthrow an elected president. What did her husband know?”

Economist and frequent political commentator David Rothschild observes, “Ginni Thomas was conspiring with high ranking Republicans to overturn [the] republic, and her husband was either privy to or actively involved in this conspiracy before using his position to coverup his wife’s role.”

Former SDNY Asst. U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli sums up:

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Ginni Thomas Harassed Trump White House With ‘Insane’ Hiring And Firing Demands

When Ronald Reagan was president during the 1980s, part of his big-tent view of conservatism was what he called “the 11th Commandment” — which was “never speak ill of any fellow Republican.” But Donald Trump, as president, had a totally different approach: insult, belittle, bully and threaten any Republican who dared to disagree with him about anything. And according to Daily Beast reporters Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley, one of Trump’s worst enablers during his four years in the White House was far-right GOP activist and conspiracy theorist Ginni Thomas — who is married to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

In contrast to Reagan’s view that there was room for a variety of Republicans in his 1980s coalition — from Goldwater Republicans to Rockefeller Republicans, from secular libertarians to theocratic Christian fundamentalists — Trump demanded unquestioning loyalty from fellow Republicans. Ginni Thomas, Suebsaeng and Rawnsley emphasize in an article published by the Beast on April 1, encouraged that type of behavior and offered lists of people she recommended hiring or firing.

The Beast reporters explain, “Years before she became one of then-President Donald Trump’s most prominent coup supporters, Ginni Thomas was already notorious in his West Wing for, among other things, ruining staffers’ afternoons by working Trump into fits of vengeful rage…. Ever since she became a welcome guest at Trump’s residences, Thomas — an influential and long-time conservative activist, and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — had perfected a proven formula of enthralling and manipulating the president’s emotions and mood.”

Suebsaeng and Rawnsley continue, “On multiple occasions throughout the Trump era, Thomas would show up in the White House, sometimes for a private meeting or a luncheon with the president. She often came armed with written memos of who she and her allies believed Trump should hire for plum jobs — and who she thought Trump should promptly purge — that she distributed to Trump and other high-ranking government officials. The fire lists were particularly problematic, as they were frequently based on pure conjecture, rumor, or score-settling, where even steadfastly MAGA aides were targeted for being part of the ‘Deep State’ or some other supposedly anti-Trump coalition, according to people who saw them during the Trump Administration.”

During his years in the White House, Trump fired a long list of right-wing Republicans who he decided weren’t MAGA enough — from former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to former National Security Adviser John Bolton. And eventually, he even turned against former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr when they refused to go along with his efforts to steal the 2020 presidential election. Ginni Thomas, according to the Washington Post and CBS News, aggressively promoted the Big Lie, urging former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to pursue efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

One of the reasons Trump was a failure as president was the fact that he wanted to be surrounded by yes-men, and according to the Beast’s article, Ginni Thomas did everything she could to encourage him.

A former senior Trump Administration official, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, told the Beast, “We all knew that within minutes after Ginni left her meeting with the president, he would start yelling about firing people for being disloyal. When Ginni Thomas showed up, you knew your day was wrecked.”

Trump wasn’t shy about hiring extremists if he thought they would be loyalists, and Thomas had plenty of recommendations. According to Suebsaeng and Rawnsley, her recommendations included “Fox News personality Dan Bongino, and the Trump-adulating Sheriff David Clarke” as well as Frank Gaffney — the former Pentagon official and conspiracy theorist who “accused conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist of being a secret agent for the Muslim Brotherhood.”

A former Trump White House official told the Beast, “These fucking lists were so insane and unworkable. A lot of them were dripping with paranoia and read like they were written by a disturbed person.”

The Beast also interviewed former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who recalled, “Trump loved talking to Ginni so much because he loved hearing about who was a Never Trumper, or allegedly one. He loved people who would flatter him, (as Ginni would do). But also, his obsession with loyalty aside, he just loved to gossip — all the time. That’s something else he got out of his series of meetings at the White House with Ginni Thomas.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Momentum Builds In Congress To ‘Do Something’ About Thomas Misconduct

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a problem for the court, for the nation, and for democracy in general. That’s been true for decades, as long as his deep ties to the dark money swirling around the judiciary, and doesn’t even take into account the extremely partisan activities of his “best friend” and wife Ginni. Since those activities now include attempting to overthrow the government, the problem of Clarence Thomas just got a whole lot more glaring—and congressional leadership has been caught just a bit flat-footed.

Stepping into the void, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the first to use the “I” word. “Clarence Thomas should resign,” she tweeted. “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.”

By all means, the House should start talking about impeachment. That’s what Thomas deserves: the ultimate censure. That’s where to start: the maximum. There’s no real other leverage the other two branches have over the Supreme Court than pressure in the public eye and the threat of action. Chief Justice John Roberts has been aware enough about his personal legacy in his career thus far to make blowing up the Thomas scandal in public—and keeping it there with discussion of impeachment—a smart tactic.

Would the 50-50 Senate convict him? No, but that’s a valuable weapon for Democrats in the upcoming election. Republicans are protecting the Supreme Court justice who has refused to recuse himself from cases involving his wife’s efforts to overthrow the government.

The good news is that Democrats are inching toward something a little more concrete than demanding that Thomas recuse. That’s where they started. A group of House and Senate Democrats, spearheaded by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), wrote to the Supreme Court requesting that Thomas recuse himself from any future Jan. 6-related cases, as well as provide a “written explanation for his failure to recuse himself” in previous cases.

“[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,” says the letter obtained by The Washington Post.

The lawmakers also called on Roberts to commit to creating “a binding Code of Conduct for the Supreme Court—the only court in the country not currently subject to a judicial code of ethics—that includes (1) enforceable provisions to ensure that the Justices comply with this Code and (2) a requirement that all Justices issue written recusal decision.” They ask that he do so by April 28.

Which is a fine and appropriate next step, since Thomas will surely refuse to recuse. “He absolutely should recuse himself,” Jayapal told Politico. But, she added, “Clearly the Supreme Court is in need of ethics reforms.”

Jayapal is on the House Judiciary committee, so the ethics reform thing is another possibility. In fact, legislation to impose the Judicial Code of Ethics on the Supreme Court—which is currently exempt from it—would be a good concurrent step for Congress to be taking along with the public pressure campaign to get him to resign. That legislation exists in a bill written by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and should start moving through the committee immediately.

After an ill-conceived dismissal of the issue on Monday by Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, who suggested there’s no urgency to the Thomas problem, there’s now some momentum there. Durbin had a day to think it over and is now joining Warren in saying lawmakers need to act. Durbin told CNN’s Manu Raju that imposing the ethics code on the Supreme Court is “long overdue.” Warren told him the legislation should include limits on stocks and “rules about other kinds of personal conflicts.” The Senate Democrats are expected to discuss Murphy’s legislation in their conference luncheon Tuesday, Raju reports.

That’s all fine and needs to move apace. At the same time, House Democrats should not rule out pursuing impeachment, which has to initiate in that chamber. Once again, Ocasio-Cortez is pushing Democrats to go there. Remember, she said, that pushing for impeachment of Trump on his extortion of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was initially deemed “unrealistic,” and the “debate was fierce & opposition real.” But, she argues, “When we look back at the decision to impeach Trump over Ukraine today, could you imagine if the naysayers and those claiming to be ‘politically savvier’ won? WE would be explaining why we allowed it to happen instead of the Senate explaining why they acquitted.” That’s on the Senate Republicans.

“Subpoenas, investigations, and impeachment should absolutely be on the table. We shouldn’t have to think twice about that,” she concluded in the thread. “We must go where the facts take us. A failure to act puts the imperiling of democracy squarely on *our* shoulders. It’s our duty to defend it.”

Let the Senate lead on the code of ethics legislation. How are Senate Republicans going to argue about that? The House needs to start those investigations toward impeachment. Both chambers should also be talking now about legislation to expand the court, and to put pressure on President Joe Biden to join as well. If there’s going to be any change, any accountability at the court, it’s not going to come without a big public stink. It’s the only way it’s going to happen.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Beltway Media Sleepwalk Past Ginni Thomas’ Sedition Scheming

The Sunday morning talk shows sprinted into “gaffe” patrol mode after President Joe Biden made a nine-word, ad-libbed comment in Poland over the weekend about how Vladimir Putin should not be allowed to stay in power in Russia.

On Meet the Press, USA Today’s Susan Page emphasized Biden’s comment was “distracting” and “undisciplined.” The assembled pundits spent nearly ten minutes discussing the story, along with a new NBC poll that was bad news for Biden. (Inflation!)

What was mostly ignored by the round table was the blockbuster story about Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, wife of right-wing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She had been texting unhinged QAnon-like messages to Trump’s chief of staff after the 2020 election, strategizing and urging that Biden’s victory be overturned, saving America from “the end of Liberty.” The NBC pundits on Sunday spent 45 seconds discussing that story.

Like when Trump was recently caught smuggling boxes of top-secret documents out of the White House, the Beltway press is treating Ginni Thomas’ seditious assault on democracy as a middling story; one that will likely receive little or no new coverage in coming days.

The revelation that Thomas’ plugged-in wife who enjoyed easy access to the Trump White House hoped that “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators … will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition,” came just after Republican Senators used QAnon signaling during the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. She was smeared as a child pornography apologist.

Meet the Press was hardly alone in sleepwalking past the Ginni Thomas story, which represents another GOP direct assault on democracy and election integrity. ABC This Week s’ round table spent ten minutes dissecting Biden’s Putin “gaffe,” and just three minutes acknowledging the Supreme Court’s stunning setback in terms of its reputation for fairness. (The Court’s already at its lowest standing ever.)

Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has yet to run a single page-one piece on the Thomas story and how she accused the “Left” of “attempting the greatest Heist of our History,” and complained about being “disgusted” with Vice President Mike Pence for approving the 2020 election results.

CNN announced Biden’s overseas Putin comment had set off “shock waves.” But I can find no CNN coverage that suggests the same thing occurred when we learned about Ginni Thomas’ relentless, high-level push to overturn the election (a “fight of good versus evil”) while Judge Thomas was the only justice who voted against allowing the release of records from the Trump White House related to the January 6 attack. Thomas’ lone, radical dissent on another 2020 election case openly promoted Trump lies about mail-in ballots. Lies that sound a lot like Ginni’s.

Cable news in general has been slow-walking the story. Look at how much TV attention the Thomas controversy received compared to how many hours this month were showered on the issue of rising gas prices in the U.S

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

Apprehending The Supreme Court's Bonnie And Clyde

What is to be done about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his deranged spouse?

That vexed question arose again this week when the Washington Post and CBS News revealed dozens of text messages exchanged by Virginia Thomas, the right-wing jurist's wife, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the period following the 2020 election. Those messages spectacularly confirmed what The New Yorker and The New York Times have reported in recent months about Ginni Thomas and her feverish participation in former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn that election.

From her communications with the former president's top aide, Ginni appears to be a disturbed personality who traffics in comic-book conspiracies and disparages political opponents as "evil." Unless he was just humoring her, Meadows displayed a similarly manic disposition, predicting that the "King of Kings" would save Trump's presidency and America. (He was committing voter fraud himself at the time, but that's another story.)

Evidently Mrs. Thomas believed whatever mad claims advanced her partisan will to overturn the 2020 election and keep Trump in office. It seems not to have mattered to her at all when her husband's colleagues on the highest court, including the hardcore conservatives, rejected Trump's claims of voter fraud.

Like many on the Republican Right, where she has a long history of dubious activity, Mrs. Thomas had decided in advance that any election result displeasing to her was by definition crooked. Of course, that position is itself inherently fraudulent — but such bad faith has been endemic among so-called conservatives for decades.

On Nov. 5, 2020, the day after the election, Mrs. Thomas sent Meadows a link to a YouTube video titled "TRUMP STING w CIA Director Steve Pieczenik, The Biggest Election Story in History, QFS-BLOCKCHAIN." A former employee of the State Department, Pieczenik is one of those right-wing fabulists who dismissed the 2012 school massacre of children in Newtown, Connecticut, as a "false-flag" deception. In the video sent by Mrs. Thomas, Pieczenik appeared on InfoWars, the Alex Jones conspiracy broadcast, to proclaim that Trump had somehow marked every 2020 mail ballot with an "encryption code" in a "sting operation" against the Democratic Party.

"I hope this is true; never heard anything like this before, or even a hint of it," she wrote to Meadows. "Possible???..Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states." She also forwarded news that the "Biden crime family" and various other officials and journalists were "being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition."

None of it was "possible" or even coherent. Yet such were her frothing messages, often recirculating the latest lunacy from the QAnon conspiracy cult. She was a big fan of Sidney Powell, the Trump lawyer kicked out after declaring that President Joe Biden's victory was covertly engineered by communists in Venezuela and China. Her firing puzzled poor Ginni.

Now, all this mindless maundering would be solely a matter for psychiatric intervention, except that Ginni Thomas is married to a Supreme Court justice. Specifically, the only justice who dissented from the high court's decision on the Trump election case — and later held that Trump could withhold White House documents, including those we now know might implicate his wife, from the House Select Committee investigating the attempt to overturn the election.

Did he know what his wife was doing — or how his rulings might affect her and the right-wing groups that were in some cases paying her? In The New Yorker, reporter Jane Mayer made a convincing argument that Justice Thomas must have known about the hysterically seditious antics of his "best friend." In case after case that implicated her interests, he not only failed to recuse himself but didn't even disclose his obvious conflict.

Clarence and Ginni Thomas can play these sleazy games because, bizarrely enough, the Supreme Court is not subject to the federal code of judicial conduct. Any judge on a lower court who behaved like him would be subject to discipline and possibly removal.

The time has come for Congress to pass legislation that would restore the highest court's honor, dignity and credibility by bringing it under the ethics code. That process can begin with hearings in the House and Senate judiciary committees on the matter of Clarence Thomas. If he won't resign and can't be impeached, his gross misconduct must at least be publicly exposed.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Conspiracist Ginni Thomas Repeatedly Urged Mark Meadows To Overturn 2020 Election

The Washington Post and CBS broke a bombshell of a story on Thursday: a series of text messages sent between Ginni Thomas, spouse of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows from early November 2020 to mid-January 2021, in which conservative activist Thomas urged Meadows to keep up efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. CNN broke the story that the January 6 House Select Committee has obtained these text messages, but the Post and CBS have actually obtained them—all 29 of them.

“Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!...You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice,” Thomas texted to Meadows on Nov. 10, 2020 after the major media outlets declared Joe Biden the winner. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

In a text from Meadows to Thomas on November 24, he told her: “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.” Thomas replied “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!”

We don’t know for sure who her “best friend” is, but people close to the couple, including Armstrong Williams, have called the couple “best friends”—as in, Ginni and Clarence Thomas are each other’s best friend. When Ginni decided to call Anita Hill in 2010 because she is a horrible person, Armstrong says Clarence didn’t agree she should do it. “It’s his wife, it’s his best friend, his most trusted confidante, and he loves her unconditionally. He doesn’t agree with everything, but they work it out privately.” So we can speculate pretty safely on who she’s talking about there.

On November 19, she wrote, “The intense pressures you and our President are now experiencing are more intense than Anything Experienced (but I only felt a fraction of it in 1991),” speaking of Anita Hill’s accusations that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her.

The Post reports that “Among Thomas’s stated goals in the messages was for lawyer Sidney Powell, who promoted incendiary and unsupported claims about the election, to be ‘the lead and the face’ of Trump’s legal team.” Further, she “spread false theories, commented on cable news segments and advocated with urgency and fervor that the president and his team take action to reverse the outcome of the election,” the Post says. “She urged that they take a hard line with Trump staffers and congressional Republicans who had resisted arguments that the election was stolen.”

She appears to have been an immediate election denier, sending a link to Meadows two days after the election to a YouTube video labeled “TRUMP STING w CIA Director Steve Pieczenik, The Biggest Election Story in History, QFS-BLOCKCHAIN.” Pieczenik is a former State Department official and conspiracy theorist who apparently suggested that the election was stolen; the video is no longer online.

“I hope this is true; never heard anything like this before, or even a hint of it. Possible???” Thomas texted to Meadows. “Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states.”

Ginni Thomas has been under increasing media scrutiny because of her involvement in the January 6 protests. Stories in both The New York Times and The New Yorker have tied Thomas to organizers of the January 6 rally that led to the Capitol insurrection. The reports have noted the critical advisory role she played in the world of Washington politics and lobbying.

Her husband may or may not be in the hospital now, having been hospitalized last Friday for an “infection” that is “not COVID.” No further information has been released, including whether he is indeed still hospitalized, his current condition, or a more precise diagnosis of his illness.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos