Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum (D–CD4) has become the latest Democrat to call for the resignation of Clarence Thomas from the Supreme Court of the United States, following revelations about his wife's involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
There are growing calls for the conservative justice to be impeached or forced to resign from SCOTUS, after it emerged that 29 texts were sent between his wife Ginni Thomas and former President Trump's then chief of staff between Nov. 5, 2020, and Jan. 10, 2021, in which she urged him to overturn the results of the presidential election.
She repeated right-wing slogans and election conspiracy theories in the texts, but she has subsequently argued that her political activism and career is separate from that of her husband's.
But while she claims there's no conflict of interests between her actions and her husband's role on SCOTUS, what has put Clarence Thomas under pressure is the fact that he was the only justice to vote against the release of hundreds of documents relating to President Trump's time in the White House to the bipartisan House Jan. 6 Committee, which is investigating the insurrection.
Trump and Meadows had sued to prevent the documents' release, with Thomas the only justice ruling in their favor in the 8-1 vote.
Some Democrats have called on Thomas to recuse himself from any cases relating to Jan. 6 and the "Big Lie" efforts to overturn to 2020 elections, but others are going further in arguing that his failure to do so for the 8-1 vote makes his position on SCOTUS untenable.
Critics have also pointed out that Thomas in 2011 failed to declare $687,000 of income his wife had received from the Heritage Foundation – a right-wing group that has amplified voter fraud claims – between 2003 and 2007 in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms, instead checking a box labeled “none” under “spousal noninvestment income."
Minnesota's 5th District Rep. Ilhan Omar has already called for Thomas to be impeached, while McCollum on Wednesday joined a handful of others calling for him to step down.
“The actions of Justice Thomas and his wife Virginia Thomas have undermined the Constitution and weakened our democracy," she said.
“Virginia Thomas was in direct communication with the Trump White House in a conspiracy to undermine the peaceful transition of power from a free and fair Presidential election," she continued. "Rather than disclose this conflict of interest and recuse himself from cases related to his wife’s involvement in the Big Lie, Justice Thomas took part in court rulings and voted to prevent the disclosure of White House communication logs."
"Justice Thomas has repeatedly failed to meet the ethical obligations of recusal and disclosure expected of a federal judge, and the American people cannot trust him to serve on the highest court of the land."
“As a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Thomas holds one of the most crucial roles in defending our Constitution, our laws, and our democracy. Virginia Thomas’s involvement in the attempt to overthrow the 2020 Presidential Election, and the subsequent efforts by Justice Thomas to cover up his wife’s actions, have rendered the Associate Justice ethically compromised and thus unfit to be a neutral arbiter of Justice. As such, I call on Justice Thomas to resign from the United States Supreme Court."
7 hour 37 minute gap in White House phone logs on Jan. 6
Another controversy that has emerged this week relating to phone communications in and around Jan. 6 concerns former President Trump.
White House phone logs given to the Jan. 6 committee includes a gap of 7 hours and 37 minutes covering much of the period the Capitol was under attack, as rioters sought to prevent the approval of Joe Biden as president.
Per the Washington Post: "The lack of an official White House notation of any calls placed to or by Trump for 457 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021 — from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — means the committee has no record of his phone conversations as his supporters descended on the Capitol, battled overwhelmed police and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety."
The Jan. 6 committee is now investigating whether Trump communicated via the phones of aides or the use of "burner phones" to avoid scrutiny.
His former national security adviser John Bolton, who has become a critic of Trump, says he recalls the former president using the term "burner phone," but Trump has denied being familiar with the term.