Trump allies saw Clarence Thomas as key to efforts to contest 2020 election | donald trump

In a last desperate attempt to delay or disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential race, Donald Trump’s allies have sought to appeal to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, according to new emails.

The emails, recently obtained by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 uprising, show members of Trump’s legal team viewed Thomas as ‘key’ to their efforts to quash the charges. election results in Georgia.

“We want to frame things so that Thomas can be the one to issue some sort of stay or other circuit court opinion saying Georgia is in justifiable doubt,” Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a statement. email sent Dec. 31, 2020. Chesebro, who now faces the threat of potential disciplinary action for his work in support of Trump’s election denialism, argued that Thomas represented “our only chance at a favorable court opinion by Jan. 6, which could delay Georgia’s count in Congress.”

Jan. 6 marked the day Congress was supposed to meet to certify Biden’s victory, but lawmakers’ work that day was disrupted by a group of Trump supporters storming the Capitol. The ensuing violence resulted in the deaths of seven people, according to a bipartisan Senate report.

The Chesebro emails, which were first reported by Politico, were turned over to the Jan. 6 committee after Trump attorney John Eastman unsuccessfully tried to fight a subpoena for his communications. U.S. District Judge David O Carter ruled late last month that several of Eastman’s documents should be made public because they demonstrated how Trump allies participated in a “conscious misrepresentation of the number of voter fraud in Georgia when they sought to overturn the election results in federal court.” .

Carter, a Bill Clinton appointee who previously said it was “more likely than not” that Trump committed a crime in his effort to overturn the 2020 results, ruled that Eastman’s emails ” sufficiently connected with and as part of a conspiracy to defraud the United States”.

“The emails show that President Trump knew the specific voter fraud numbers were wrong, but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,” Carter wrote in his ruling.

The newly released messages indicate that Eastman agreed with Chesboro’s plan to implicate Thomas and expressed hope that a favorable Supreme Court ruling would help “get the Georgian legislature going,” potentially preventing Biden. to claim his won electoral votes. Three Georgia ballot counts in 2020 confirmed that Biden defeated Trump in the battleground state by about 12,000 votes.

The release of the emails represented only the latest legal setback for Eastman, who repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he testified before the Jan. 6 committee. FBI agents seized Eastman’s phone in June, as part of a Justice Department investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, and calls by Trump’s attorney to recover the device failed.

The latest batch of emails do not include any correspondence from Thomas, although the judge’s wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, became embroiled in the January 6 committee investigation.

Thomas voluntarily spoke to Jan. 6 investigators in late September, after his communications with former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows became public. In his text messages with Meadows, Thomas repeatedly urged the Trump adviser to stand firm in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, even after it became clear that Biden had won.

“Help this great president stand firm, Mark!!!” Thomas wrote in a text message sent Nov. 10, after news networks sparked Biden’s election. “You are the leader, with him, who defends American constitutional governance at the edge of the precipice. Most know that Biden and the left are attempting the biggest heist in our history. »

Thomas has also lobbied lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin, encouraging them to help reverse Biden’s victories in the two battleground states, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post earlier this year.

Speaking to investigators on Jan. 6 behind closed doors, Thomas indicated that she still believed Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, committee chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters. In her opening statement to the committee, Thomas also insisted she hadn’t discussed efforts to overturn the election results with her husband, saying they had “an absolute rule” of not discussing the issues. cases pending before the Supreme Court.

“It is laughable for anyone who knows my husband to think that I could influence his jurisprudence – the man is independent and headstrong, with strong character traits of independence and integrity,” Thomas said in the statement, which was was obtained by the New York Times.

Nonetheless, the mention of Thomas’ name in emails between Chesebro and Eastman will likely intensify calls for the conservative judiciary to recuse herself from Jan. 6-related cases. So far, these calls have been ignored.

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