Virginia Thomas agrees to interview with House January 6 panel | January 6 hearings
Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection, her lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Mark Paoletta said Thomas is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election”.
The committee has sought an interview with Thomas in an effort to know more about her role in trying to help former president Donald Trump overturn his election defeat. She texted with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in the weeks after the election and before the insurrection.
Thomas’s willingness to testify comes as the committee is preparing to wrap up its work before the end of the year and is writing a final report laying out its findings about the US Capitol insurrection. The panel announced Wednesday that it will reconvene for a hearing on 28 September, likely the last in a series of hearings that began this summer.
The testimony from Thomas was one of the remaining items for the panel as its work comes to a close. The panel has already interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and shown some of that video testimony in its eight hearings over the summer.
The extent of Thomas’ involvement ahead of the Capitol attack is unknown. She has said in interviews that she attended the initial pro-Trump rally the morning of 6 January 2021 but left before Trump spoke and the crowds headed for the Capitol.
Thomas, a Trump supporter long active in conservative causes, has repeatedly maintained that her political activities posed no conflict of interest with the work of her husband. Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenting voice when the supreme court ruled in January to allow a congressional committee access to presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes relating to the January 6 attack.
It’s unclear if the hearing would provide a general overview of what the panel has learned or if it would be focused on new information and evidence, such as an interview with Thomas. The committee conducted several interviews at the end of July and into August with Trump’s cabinet secretaries, some of whom had discussed invoking the constitutional process in the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office after the insurrection.
Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chairwoman, said the committee “has far more evidence to share with the American people and more to gather”.