This story began with something that crossed my radar last night and set off red flags and warning bells. But, as sometimes happens, the story didn’t begin or end with that one story, but has an even deeper, darker understory. I want to warn you that some of this is going to sound a bit far-fetched, but I assure you, I have double-checked and verified everything I’m about to tell you, so hold onto your hats, folks.
Justice Clarence Thomas has had a seat on the United States Supreme Court since 1990 when he replaced one of the most-respected Justices in the history of the nation, Justice Thurgood Marshall. Thomas’ confirmation was sticky, to say the least, with a less-than-stellar ranking from the American Bar Association, his reticence to answer many questions, and lastly allegations of sexual misconduct, but still he was confirmed. He leans to the right … a bit too far for my tastes, but nonetheless, I’ve had no truck with him. His wife, however, is another matter.Ginny Thomas, it appears, has played a significant role in the recent purges within the Trump administration … purges not based on incompetence, but rather on not being considered to be ‘loyal’ enough to Trump. Loyalists, or close allies of Trump, provided him lists of names of those who were perceived as not being 100% on board with Trump, and Ginny Thomas was one of the leaders of the pack.
Before I proceed, let me just state for the record that the Supreme Court is expected to be completely independent from the president. The Justices do not work for, nor answer to the president. It seems to me that this is a gross conflict of interest, for the wife of one of the justices to be serving as an unofficial advisor to the president, bringing about the firing of staff for no reason that would pass the smell test in a court of law.
Ginny Thomas and a Republican Senate staffer, Barbara Ledeen, have been compiling lists of all those they felt lacked sufficient loyalty to Trump. One of the casualties of Ms. Thomas’ lists was Jessie Liu. Liu was a U.S. Attorney for the District Columbia, a position she resigned earlier this month, apparently at the request of U.S. District Attorney William Barr. She had been nominated by Trump to a high-level position at the U.S. Department of Treasury and had planned to resign her position with the DC U.S. Attorney’s office soon anyway, so not much notice was taken.
Then, suddenly, Trump rescinded Ms. Liu’s nomination. It turns out, the reason was a list compiled by Ginny Thomas and Barbara Ledeen listing at least three reasons she felt Ms. Liu was not loyal enough. One reason Ginny questioned Liu’s loyalty was that she failed to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, for she found he had committed no crimes. Another was that she had recommended jail time for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who pled guilty and was convicted of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia’s ambassador in the matter of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election. Trump felt Flynn’s conviction was unfair, even though Flynn had pled guilty, so Liu’s recommendation that he serve time in prison made her, in Thomas & Ledeen’s book, disloyal.
The third, and perhaps most disgusting reason on the infamous list was that Ms. Liu refused to press criminal charges against certain of the women who came forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation hearing in 2018. To the best of my knowledge, none of those women had done anything that would warrant criminal charges, and obviously that was Ms. Liu’s conclusion as well. And a fourth reason Thomas & Ledeen apparently felt Ms. Liu had failed the loyalty test, is that she dismissed charges against “violent inauguration protesters who plotted to disrupt the inauguration.”
The compilation of these lists has been going on for some 18 months, but it was only after his acquittal by the Senate last month that Trump suddenly felt emboldened and invincible enough to act upon the information he had been given. Ms. Thomas, however, has been a right-wing political activist since at least 2013, in conjunction with a number of journalists from Breitbart and other right-wing organizations. Thomas has also been a columnist for the Daily Caller (a right-wing news and opinion website founded by none other than Fox News’ half-witted Tucker Carlson) and a tea party consultant and lobbyist.
I have no evidence that Justice Thomas has done anything wrong, but … by his wife acting in this capacity, advising Trump of who should be fired, of who is sufficiently loyal … there is the appearance of possible involvement where there should be none. The role of Supreme Court Justice is a very high honour that comes with an expectation that the wearer of that black robe will be above the fray, above suspicion. I’m afraid I no longer have faith that Justice Thomas is, in fact, above corruption. What his wife is doing is, in itself, disgusting, but that she is also the wife of a Supreme Court Justice is highly improper.