Schumer joins progressive chorus calling for Clarence Thomas recusal

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he believes Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from cases related to the events of Jan. 6, after it was revealed last week that his wife sent text messages to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to challenge Donald Trump‘s 2020 election loss.

“I do think he should recuse himself,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday during a press conference. “The information we know right now raises serious questions about how close Justice Thomas and his wife were to the planning and execution of the insurrection.”

In addition, Schumer said he believes there should be “some kind of code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.”

Schumer is one of several Democrats who have recently called on Thomas to recuse himself after reports of the messages between Meadows and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas.

On Monday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Thomas to recuse himself from Jan. 6-related cases, noting the connection between Thomas’s wife and Meadows “really creates an obvious conflict.”

Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released a statement claiming “Justice Thomas’ conduct on the Supreme Court looks increasingly corrupt.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) questions U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy during a Senate Finance Committee hearing about youth mental health on Capitol Hill on Feb. 8, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
( Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Wyden said Thomas should “recuse himself from any case related to the Jan. 6 investigation, and should Donald Trump run again, any case related to the 2024 election.”

The comments from Democratic senators follow reports about text messages, copies of which were obtained by The Washington Post and CBS, sent between Ginni Thomas and Meadows. Prior to ending his cooperation with the investigation, those text messages, part of a larger number of documents, were turned over by Meadows to the House select committee investigating the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

In one message, the Post reported that Ginni, who has been married to Justice Thomas for more than 30 years, told Meadows to “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.”

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas arrive at the Heritage Foundation on Oct. 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In other messages, Ginni suggested Trump should not concede the election to Joe Biden. She also called the 2020 presidential election “the greatest Heist of our History.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told CBS News last Friday that Thomas should consider “voluntarily appearing” before the Jan. 6 committee to discuss the text messages his wife sent to Meadows.

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