The House panel probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is “fully prepared’’ to move to subpoena Ginni Thomas, the wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, if necessary, said Rep. Liz Cheney, who vice-chairs the group, Sunday.
Cheney, one of two Republicans on the committee, said the panel is “engaged” with counsel for Ginni Thomas and hopes that she will agree to testify voluntarily.
“But the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not,” Cheney of Wyoming told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I hope it doesn’t get to that. I hope she will come in voluntarily,” Cheney said of Ginni Thomas. “It’s very important for us to speak with her. And, as I said, I hope she will agree to do so voluntarily.”
Ginni Thomas sent text messages to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows days after the 2020 presidential election urging him to fight to reverse former President Donald Trump’s loss, according to reports.
“You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows [Joe] Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History,” she said in one message.
Ginni Thomas also communicated with more than two dozen Arizona lawmakers to encourage them to reverse Trump’s loss in the state to now-President Biden.
Her messaging raised questions about her husband, who didn’t recuse himself from hearing cases involving Jan. 6 documents.
Justice Thomas was the lone dissenter in a Supreme Court ruling in January 2022 refusing to block the release of documents Trump had fought to keep out of the hands of the Jan. 6 committee.
Cheney, the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, also said the panel has scheduled interviews with people who served in Trump’s Cabinet and members of the former president’s campaign.
In addition, she said the committee is “very focused” on talking to the Secret Service about messages agents exchanged around Jan. 6 that were deleted reportedly because of a tech upgrade — despite requests to preserve them.
A criminal investigation has been launched into the deleted texts.
“We will get to the bottom of it. I also think anybody who watched our hearing last week and saw the radio traffic, listened to the radio traffic of the agents who are with [then-]Vice President Pence and saw the testimony about other radio traffic, recognizes the really serious and grave threat the vice president was under. And the agents who were protecting him certainly did a tremendous service that day,” Cheney said.
The radio recordings played at the committee’s hearing Thursday revealed how the agents feared for their lives as they tried to protect Pence and his family at the US Capitol as it was under siege by the pro-Trump mob.
An unidentified security official told the panel that some agents in Pence’s detail called loved ones to say their final goodbyes as the rioters came within feet of them and Pence.
“There were calls to say goodbye to family members,” the security official said. “For whatever the reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.”
“We came very close to either Service having to use lethal options or worse,” he said.