Ginni Thomas pressured Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn 2020 election

By: - September 1, 2022 2:56 pm

Ginni Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent emails to at least two Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin, pressuring them to “fight back” and work to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election — which President Joe Biden won by about 21,000 votes. 

The emails, obtained by the Washington Post from the watchdog group Documented, were sent on Nov. 9, 2020 to Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) at the same time Thomas sent emails to Republican lawmakers in Arizona. The emails were all sent through FreeRoots, an online service that allows people to send multiple emails to public officials at the same time. 

“Article II of the United States Constitution gives you an awesome responsibility: to choose our state’s Electors,” the identical emails stated. “This means you have the power to fight back against fraud and ensure our elections are free, fair, and honest. This responsibility is yours and yours alone — it doesn’t rest with any Board of Elections, Secretary of State, Governor, or even court. And it certainly doesn’t rest with the media. That’s why I am writing today to urge you to do your Constitutional duty. Please stand strong in the face of political and media pressure. Please reflect on the awesome authority granted to you by our Constitution. And then please take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen for our state.”

Tauchen did not respond to a request for an interview and a spokesperson for Bernier declined to comment, pointing to statements she’d made to the Associated Press, Washington Post and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In an interview with the Journal Sentinel she said that it’s likely Thomas’ email was sent to all Wisconsin legislators and that she and Tauchen were the only two to keep it. 

“It’s not like she sat down and typed out an email to me and Gary Tauchen,” she said. 

At the time Thomas sent the email, Republicans had filed lawsuits challenging the results of the election in Wisconsin in both state and federal court and requested recounts of the results in the largely Democratic Dane and Milwaukee counties. The election had only been called for Biden two days earlier. 

Bernier, who in the nearly two years since the 2020 election has become an outspoken critic of Republican conspiracy theories about election fraud, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that in the weeks after the election the false allegations of fraud had only just begun to solidify and it was still unclear what had actually happened. 

“Would it be logical and possible for the Legislature to say ‘hold the phone,’ we are going to decertify the election, we are going to have a recount, or a do-over, or whatever — that was probably potentially realistic, so I don’t think it’s outlandish in any way shape or form,” Bernier said. “But after, approaching Jan. 6 (2021), now it becomes outlandish.”

Since the 2020 election, Thomas has come under increased scrutiny for her role in working with and aiding attempts to overturn or discredit the results. Her cooperation with key players in the effort to spread conspiracies about the election led to calls for her husband to recuse himself from cases related to the election — a step he hasn’t taken. 

Democrats in Wisconsin said the wife of a Supreme Court justice working to overturn election results is a problem. 

“The wife of a Supreme Court justice and pusher of the big lie pleading w/ Republicans to overturn the 2020 election is a bigger deal than anyone is willing to say out loud,” Sen. Kelda Roys (D-Madison) tweeted.


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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.