- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, called Sunday for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot based on his wife’s leaked texts, and some Democrats went even further.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, tweeted Thursday that “Clarence Thomas needs to be impeached,” while Rep. Nydia Velazquez, New York Democrat, said in a Friday tweet that the conservative justice “needs to resign.”

“At the bare minimum, Justice Thomas needs to recuse himself from any case related to the January 6th investigation, and should Donald Trump run again, any case related to the 2024 election,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, in a Friday statement.

The demands followed reports Thursday of leaked texts sent by Virginia “Ginni” Thomas to Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s White House chief of staff, urging him to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.

“This is unbelievable. You have the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice advocating for an insurrection, advocating for overturning a legal election to the sitting president’s chief of staff,” said Ms. Klobuchar on ABC’s “This Week.” “She also knows this election, these cases, are going to come before her husband.”

The senator called it “a textbook case for removing him, recusing him from these decisions.”

The 29 texts sent in 2020-21 between Mrs. Thomas and Mr. Meadows first reported by CBS News include comments from her such as “Do not concede” and “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

Ms. Klobuchar said that the Supreme Court needs to respond publicly to the leaked texts, which were reportedly handed over by Mr. Meadows to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, saying the “entire integrity of the court is on the line here.”

Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, said Sunday he was confident Justice Thomas would act appropriately.

“Well, first off, I admire and respect Clarence Thomas,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think he’s been a great Supreme Court justice. And Clarence Thomas, in my opinion, will always do the right thing.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have also expressed confidence in Justice Thomas’ ability to make impartial decisions.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board came out against recusal, saying that “Mrs. Thomas can believe all the crank theories she wants, and she has the right to participate in politics even as the spouse of a Justice.”

SEE ALSO: Klobuchar calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from 2020 election cases over wife’s texts

“Mrs. Thomas’s text messages are embarrassing but amount to an outsider kibitzing and commiserating with the White House chief of staff,” said the Friday editorial. “They are no reason for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the Trump Administration.”

Critics on the left pointed to Justice Thomas’s lone dissent in the court’s Jan. 19 ruling against Mr. Trump’s bid to stop the National Archives from releasing documents to the select committee.

Ms. Klobuchar noted that Justice Thomas and other justices have recused themselves from cases in the past involving family members. Even so, she called for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to adopt formal ethics rules.

“I would hope Justice Roberts, who I respect, will stand up and get those ethics rules in place,” she said. “They’ve got to do that, they should do it themselves.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of only two Republicans on the House select committee, declined Sunday to confirm the existence of the Thomas-Meadows texts, saying “we have thousands of text messages from lots of people.”

Asked whether the committee would subpoena Mrs. Thomas, Mr. Kinzinger said he wanted to make sure the investigation was “not driven by political motivation.”

“So when it comes to any potential future calling in of Ms. Thomas, we’ll take a look at what the evidence is,” Mr. Kinzinger said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We’ll make a decision and you all will know as soon as we do. What I don’t want to do is get into speculating too much.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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