A lawyer for Thomas previously said the conservative activist would not voluntarily appear before the committee. Thomas’s role in trying to reverse the election made headlines in March when the Jan. 6 panel released text messages between her and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to fight harder for the election. contest election results.
The committee asked Thomas for a testimony in June, around the same time as news reports of her communicating with White House officials and informal advisers, namely Trump attorney John Eastman, about attempts to reverse the election.
Asked to comment on Cheney’s comments — and whether it sets a dangerous precedent to subpoena the spouse of a Supreme Court Justice — on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” panelist Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said: “There are rules that may are not exceeded, but those limits mean that sitting Supreme Court justices do not preside or appear or take action in cases where their spouse may be involved.”
“And in this case for Clarence Thomas to make a decision in a case — a dissent in a case where Congress tried to get documents and those documents could involve his own wife. That’s the line that has been crossed.”
Schiff referred to Clarence Thomas’ support for Trump’s efforts to prevent the Jan. 6 panel from accessing relevant White House data. Thomas was the only judge to support Trump’s request for an injunction in the January 2022 ruling.
In the CNN interview and also in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Cheney detailed her key takeaways from the committee’s most recent public hearing and explained what she thought the panel’s goals were for the future.
The panel is “looking at whether we need, for example, tougher criminal sanctions for the kind of activity Donald Trump engaged in when he tried to pressure Georgia officials,” Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday,” “or, for example, whether we might have tougher criminal penalties.” need sanctions for something like the utter dereliction of duty we saw on January 6 from President Trump.”
Cheney said the panel has seen “a real increase in the amount of information and the number of people coming forward in recent weeks,” which she attributed in part to a bomb statement by former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson in June. Hutchinson’s testimony was seen as a turning point in the investigation, most notably her statement that Trump urged the Secret Service to remove security magnetometers to let people in with guns because “they’re not here to hurt me.”
“Cassidy Hutchinson will go down in history as a hero, and she never tried,” said Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Cheney’s fellow Republican on the panel, in a separate interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “She’s just a young woman who speaks the truth with more courage than the vast majority of men in politics today.”
Pressing on both programs about whether she believed the former president had committed a crime, Cheney said it was a decision for the Justice Department and the panel had not made any decisions on criminal referrals.
“As a committee, we have not yet decided whether we will make criminal referrals,” she told CNN. “That’s definitely something we’re looking at.”
She added, “I would also say that the Justice Department is certainly very focused, based on what we see publicly, on what is the largest criminal investigation in US history.”
Cheney will face a primary challenge on Aug. 16, backed by Trump and his allies in Congress. Trump has attacked Cheney for condemning his election claims and for her role on the committee.
Asked by CNN host Jake Tapper if she thought losing reelection for her role on the panel would be worth it, Cheney said there was “no doubt about it”.
“If I have to choose between retaining a seat in the House of Representatives or protecting the constitutional republic and making sure the American people know the truth about Donald Trump, every day I choose the Constitution and the truth.” she said. .