Virginia Thomas, a conservative legal activist and the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, has expressed regret over her role in discord among Justice Thomas’ former law clerks because of her support for President Donald J. Trump and the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol.
She made her apology after the mob attack on the Capitol on a private email list called Thomas Clerk World. Her comments were first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by a former clerk to the justice.
The list has largely been devoted to updates about families and careers, along with domestic matters like dog rearing and pie baking, the clerk said. But in recent weeks heated political debates had unfolded on the list among the former clerks, almost all of whom are conservative.
The former clerks, like many Republicans, were deeply split over whether Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election were legitimate. Some said they believed the election had likely been stolen, while others condemned what they called an insurrection.
Ms. Thomas, known as Ginni, has been an enthusiastic proponent of Mr. Trump and expressed support for the Jan. 6 rally in the days leading up to it. She has expressed no public views supporting Mr. Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen.
“I owe you all an apology,” she wrote to the former clerks. “I have likely imposed on you my lifetime passions.”
“My passions and beliefs are likely shared with the bulk of you, but certainly not all,” she added. “And sometimes the smallest matters can divide loved ones for too long. Let’s pledge to not let politics divide THIS family, and learn to speak more gently and knowingly across the divide.”
Justice Thomas does not participate in the email list, the former clerk said.
In a recent email, Ms. Thomas called for reconciliation. “I would ask those of you on the contrary side to have grace and mercy on those on my side of the polarized world, and feel free to call and talk to me individually about where I failed you as a friend here,” she wrote. “I probably need more tutoring.”