AOC threatens Justice Thomas: resign or face impeachment

In a tweet, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has threatened Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with impeachment if he doesn’t resign.

As The Hill noted, AOC “is just the latest in a series of Democratic lawmakers and legal experts to intensify ethical scrutiny of Thomas in the wake of explosive reports last week that exposed his wife’s aggressive efforts to help overturn former President Trump’s electoral defeat.”

“Those revelations raised fresh questions about the justice’s refusal to step aside from related cases before the Supreme Court, including at least 10 rulings concerning the 2020 presidential election, without any indication of him recusing.”

If Thomas doesn’t resign, AOC said in a tweet Monday, “his failure to disclose income from right-wing organizations, recuse himself from matters involving his wife, and his vote to block the Jan 6th commission from key information must be investigated and could serve as grounds for impeachment.”

The increased Democrat pressure on Thomas involved a report last week that his wife, Virginia Thomas, exchanged text messages with former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in the wake of the 2020 election.

In the messages, she said President Joe Biden’s electoral victory was an “obvious fraud” and “the greatest heist of our history.”

Nothing has linked Clarence Thomas to these messages aside from speculation involving one text where Virginia Thomas told Meadows she had “a conversation with my best friend just now” regarding the election.

While Virginia Thomas didn’t state who this was, Justice Thomas has referred to his wife as his “best friend” in the past.

The message didn’t say what the conversation was about, however, nor whether the “best friend” in this case was the Supreme Court justice.

Democrats have called for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from future cases involving the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, particularly after he was the only dissenting vote in an 8-1 ruling which allowed investigators with House Democrats’ Jan. 6 commission to obtain White House records from the Trump administration.

Thomas isn’t required to recuse himself, however. As The Hill noted, “Supreme Court justices — unlike judges on lower federal courts — are not bound by a code of conduct and are permitted to decide for themselves whether recusal is appropriate.”

However, AOC arguably becomes the highest-profile Democrat to take the more serious step of calling for Thomas’ resignation — and to face potential impeachment if he doesn’t.

While Democrats could potentially impeach him on a straight party-line vote as long as they control the House of Representatives, the two-thirds majority needed to remove him from the bench is a hurdle they’re highly unlikely to clear.