Who is Ginni Thomas? What to know about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife

As Capitol Hill focused its attention on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson earlier this year, a sitting justice on the nation's highest court was thrust into the spotlight: Clarence Thomas.

Reports surfaced in March that his wife, Virginia Thomas, repeatedly pressured a top White House official in President Donald Trump's administration to overturn the 2020 election. She also confirmed having attended Trump's rally prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 

Virginia, who goes by Ginni, has long been active in conservative political circles. But her ties to Jan. 6 have raised questions about her husband's work on the Supreme Court, which is meant to be nonpartisan.

Now, Thomas will be questioned by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, her lawyer announced Wednesday.

Here's all you need to know about the justice's wife, Ginni Thomas.

Ginni Thomas and Jan. 6: House Jan. 6 committee comes to agreement to interview Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas

Midwestern upbringing and relationship with Justice Thomas

Ginni Thomas, born Virginia Lamp, was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, as the youngest of four children, according to the 2004 biography of Clarence Thomas "Judging Thomas."

Her father was an engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and later started his own engineering firm, while her mother raised her and her siblings, the book says. Her mother, Marjorie Lamp, was an active member of the Nebraska Republican Party. Ginni often tagged along to meetings and volunteered for local campaigns.

"Mom was the big politician and Ginni wanted to be like her," her older brother, Russell Lamp, told the Washington Post in 1991.

Thomas attended Westside High School in Omaha before heading to Mount Vernon College, a women's college near Washington, D.C, according to the book. But after a year, she transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to be closer to her boyfriend at the time, before again switching to the Jesuit-affiliated Creighton University in the same city, where she graduated with degrees in business communication and political science in 1979. She embarked on a law degree from Creighton Law School the same year, graduating in 1983.

Jan. 6, 2021: Ginni Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, acknowledges she attended Trump rally that preceded Capitol riot

Thomas worked as the legislative director for Republican Hal Daub, a former Omaha mayor and member of the House, after law school before transitioning into a job with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce a year later, the book says. Two years after that, she met Clarence Thomas at a 1986 conference on affirmative action in New York. The conservative power couple married a year later in 1987 – her first marriage and his second.

A friend, Ricky Silberman, in 1991 described the couple as "intellectual soulmates" to the Washington Post. Clarence would describe Ginni as a "gift from God," the New York Times reported.

Political activism

Thomas has "battled for conservative principles" in Washington for more than 35 years, according to her website.

She served as a senior executive at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation and is a special correspondent for the right-wing media outlet The Daily Caller. She formerly started the nonprofit lobbying group Liberty Central, aimed at combatting what she called leftist "tyranny" of former President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.

She has been a supporter of the Constitutional Coalition, a nonpartisan educational and research group, and Turning Point USA, a conservative youth group with strong ties to former President Donald Trump.

Questions over Ginni Thomas' political causes and her husband's position on the high court picked up steam after she founded her lobbying group in 2009, Liberty Central, and has continued.

Jan. 6 Capitol attack: What ties does Ginni Thomas, the Supreme Court justice's wife, have to Jan. 6?

Attendance at Jan. 6 rally

In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Thomas confirmed she attended Trump's rally on Jan. 6, 2021 before violence erupted at the Capitol later that day.

“I played no role with those who were planning and leading the Jan. 6 events,” Thomas told the Free Beacon, additionally saying she was "disappointed and frustrated" by subsequent violence.

Election integrity: Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urged White House chief Mark Meadows to overturn election, reports show

On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in hopes of disrupting the certification of the 2020 election results. The efforts failed, and Joe Biden was certified early Jan. 7. But the attack left the Capitol grounds damaged, more than 150 Capitol and Metropolitan police injured and at least seven people dead in connection with the day's events.

Texts with Meadows and other efforts to overturn the 2020 election

In March, numerous outlets reported that Thomas repeatedly encouraged then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows over text message to overturn the 2020 election.

The messages, which spanned from November 2020 to mid-January 2021, are under review by the House Select Committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol and underscore her ties to the previous administration.

The existence of the messages was revealed by The Washington Post, CBS News, CNN and other outlets, but USA TODAY has not independently viewed the messages.

In them, Thomas wrote to Meadows that he should “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!...You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History,” according to The Post.

Justice Thomas: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas released from hospital after battling infection

Thomas also pressured lawmakers in Wisconsin and Arizona to change the results of the 2020 election in their states and corresponded via email with lawyer John Eastman, who worked to help overturn the 2020 election results by pressuring then-Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Joe Biden's win, the Washington Post reported.

Backlash for Justice Thomas

Justice Thomas has drawn ire from politicians and talking heads alike for being the sole dissenter in a Supreme Court decision to allow the release of Trump administration documents to the House committee investigating Jan. 6.

Contributing: Chelsey Cox, Bart Jansen

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ginni Thomas: Who is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife?