If you were to rely solely on certain recent media reports, you might be under the impression Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) did something improper by receiving two mass-generated emails sent by organizations associated with the wife of a supreme court justice.
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is a well-known conservative involved in organizations which supported Donald Trump’s reelection efforts. She is also married to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who happens to the godfather to the son of Bolick’s husband Clint, a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court.
But a closer look at two unsolicited emails sent in 2020 to Bolick’s legislative email account from an account in Ginni Thomas’ name about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election shows there were no improper or unethical communications between the women, nor any suggestion of a quid pro quo because of any personal relationship.
The same can be said for two replies sent by Bolick.
In fact, several election officials say Bolick responded on Nov. 10, 2020 to the first email the way she should have – by referring Thomas to the Arizona Attorney General Office with any evidence of voter fraud or election interference. Even Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer describes Bolick’s reply as “eminently reasonable.”
Bolick also stressed in that reply to Thomas that bringing forth any such evidence was “the most productive” thing to do while various election lawsuits worked their way through the courts.
“From there we will see our best options moving forward to protect the integrity of the election,” Bolick wrote.
A further reading of the two Ginni Thomas emails show they have all the characteristics of auto-generated messages sent to recipients on a mailing list. Bolick even notes in a Nov. 12 followup reply to Thomas that Bolick’s legislative office received the same “Dear Representative Bolick” email three times in a span of a few minutes.
Thomas’ Nov. 9, 2020 email noted that Article II of the U.S. Constitution gives Arizona’s legislators the “awesome responsibility” for choosing state’s presidential electors. It also requested a meeting with the recipients. A Dec. 13, 2020 email simply asked recipients to watch an attached two-minute video.
But Bolick isn’t the only Arizona legislator to receive the two emails under Thomas’ name.
Public records released by the Clerk of the House of Representatives confirm Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) received both, although it appears he never responded. There is also no indication that Bolick, Bowers, or their staff ever made arrangements for the requested meeting.
Bolick’s current campaign to be the Republican nominee for Arizona Secretary of State has been questioned by some media outlets in light of the Ginni Thomas emails, as has her legislative record of introducing election integrity bills. The suggestion woven into much of the reporting is that Thomas was using the emails to exert “pressure” on Bolick due to the personal connection between the two husbands.
It did not take long for Bolick to slap down what she called “the conjecture” about the communications.
“The dishonest media wants to distract attention from election fraud and our efforts to secure elections,” she stated Friday morning. As to questions about Bolick’s motivation for introducing an election integrity bill last session, she provided a link to a February 2021 Op-Ed she wrote explaining her intentions