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Ginni Thomas lawyer questions need for her to testify before Jan. 6 panel

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The attorney for Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said he doesn't see a need for his client to testify before the House select committee investigating the Jan 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol. 

In an eight-page letter sent to the committee on Tuesday, Thomas's attorney Mark Paoletta wrote that his client is willing to testify before the committee to clear her name but asked for the panel to provide better justification for why her testimony is necessary. 

Paoletta's letter to the committee was obtained and published by The Daily Caller. 

"Before I can recommend that she meet with you, I am asking the Committee to provide a better justification for why Mrs. Thomas's testimony is relevant to the Committee's legislative purpose," Paoletta wrote in the letter. 

Paoletta said that the views his client expressed in her text message chain with Mark Meadows, former President Trump's chief of staff, on the 2020 election were "personal" and that she was just passing information she first saw to Meadows. 

"Importantly, Mrs. Thomas never claimed to have first-hand knowledge about election fraud," he added. "Rather, she stated that she was just passing along information that she had heard from others. She also expressly condemned those who attacked the Capitol on January 6, asked some questions, and expressed general frustrations. For instance, she expressed concern about the future of our country under President Biden's leadership." 

Paoletta took a shot at the committee in his final point, writing about how the members of the panel have talked about his client, her husband and other witnesses through the media as well as statements from some Democrats casting doubt on past elections.

"It is in this context that Mrs. Thomas has expressed a willingness to try to come before the Committee as a means of clearing her name. But, based on my understanding of the facts the Committee has in its possession, I do not believe there is currently a sufficient basis to speak with Mrs. Thomas. Perhaps the Committee has more information that would establish that basis, and I am willing to reconsider my recommendation if you make this information available. But without more, I am sure you can appreciate my concern that Mrs. Thomas appears to have been asked to come in to continue the baseless harassment she has been subjected to since January 6," Paoletta wrote. 

"I would also note that this has been a particularly stressful time as the Thomases have been subjected to an avalanche of death threats and other abuse by the unprecedented assault on the conservative Supreme Court Justices and their families. Without more information, I am left to believe that, if her name were Ginni Jones, the Committee would never even entertain speaking with her." 

The Jan. 6 committee held its last public hearing of the month on Tuesday with surprise testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchison, who detailed Trump's anger before and during the insurrection, including an incident in which he allegedly lunged at his Secret Service detail after not being allowed to go to the Capitol as a mob of his supporters was already storming the building to prevent the certification of the 2020 election.

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