Call it SQOTUS.
Ginni Thomas, a longtime conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is deep down the QAnon rabbit hole. She pushed core claims of the conspiracy theory community to then-President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, pushing him to overturn Trump’s election loss by any means necessary.
The texts, obtained by the House Jan. 6 Committee and first reported by the Washington Post, include multiple references that could only have been made by someone deeply steeped in QAnon lore.
And they raise new questions about what role Thomas played in pushing Trump’s team to overturn the election—as well as why her husband hasn’t recused himself on Jan. 6-related rulings.
Ginni Thomas attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally on the National Mall, though she says she departed before Trump spoke. She and Meadows make no direct references to what the Supreme Court might do to intercede in the election results.
Clarence Thomas was the only justice to dissent in the 8-1 Supreme Court decision that rejected Trump’s efforts to block the House Jan. 6 Committee from obtaining related documents from the National Archives—documents like the Meadows-Ginni Thomas text conversation.
Ginni Thomas’ lobbying effort started nearly immediately after Election Day. On Nov. 5, 2020, she texted Meadows a link to a YouTube video from far-right former State Department official and conspiracy theorist Steve Pieczenik with the title “TRUMP STING w CIA Director Steve Pieczenik, The Biggest Election Story in History, QFS-BLOCKCHAIN.”
“I hope this is true; never heard anything like this before, or even a hint of it. Possible???” she texted Meadows.
“Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states,” Thomas continued.
These texts are a word salad of QAnon terminology. QAnon adherents falsely believed that Trump had watermarked mail-in ballots to track potential fraud—the phrase “Watch the water” was popular on QAnon message boards. The reference to “QFS” in the video refers to a "quantum blockchain watermark" conspiracy that had just emerged in QAnon fever swamps that claimed that all mail-in ballots contained a secret watermark.
The reference to a “white hat sting operation” is straight out of QAnon too: Adherents often use the phrase “white hats” to refer to those in the military and deep state that are on their side. The theory also claimed that "elite units" inside the National Guard were working with Trump to conduct a secret recount made possible by “quantum blockchain” technology—a thing that doesn’t actually exist in the real world.
Pieczenik, whose YouTube video Thomas sent, is a regular on Alex Jones’ far-right InfoWars who has falsely claimed that mass shootings like the 2017 Las Vegas massacre and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre were “false-flag” operations to push gun control, and claimed that reports that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people were also a “false flag” to try to draw the U.S. into war in Syria.
It’s unlikely Thomas would have known about this conspiracy theory that quickly if she weren’t already deep into the QAnon message boards. Few outside of QAnon channels were talking about this at the time. Snopes debunked it, but not until a full week after Thomas sent her text.
Thomas then directly quoted a passage floating around on QAnon message boards that pushed the antidemocratic conspiracy theory that Trump’s deep-state enemies were already being rounded up and held at Guantanamo Bay to face execution for their crimes.
"Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition,” she wrote.
The QAnon community had already glommed onto the phrase "Biden crime family" as well—it had become a meme-able phrase long before others in the conservative movement embraced it.
Thomas also promoted Sidney Powell, the Trump election lawyer who had deep ties with the QAnon community.
“Sounds like Sidney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” she texted Meadows on Nov. 19.
Powell had, at that point, become an iconic figure within the QAnon movement and had embraced the conspiracy for over a year, appearing on QAnon talk shows and retweeting major QAnon accounts. She was also close to former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who at the time was a superstar in the Qniverse.
Meadows began replying to Thomas’ texts on Nov. 10 in what turned into a 29-text conversation between the Nov. 3, 2020 election and the Jan. 6 insurrection. And while he didn’t seem to pick up on the QAnon references, he was on the same page when it came to trying to keep Trump in office by any means necessary.
On Nov. 24, Meadows framed the fight to overturn the results of the 2020 election as a holy war, replete with Biblical references.
“This is a fight of good versus evil,” Meadows texted Thomas. “Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”