Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday accused Democrats of “clumsy bullying” in their criticisms of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni Thomas’ support for overturning the 2020 presidential election.

Speaking from the Senate floor, McConnell said Justice Thomas shouldn’t have to recuse himself from cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. There have been growing calls for him to do so after it was discovered Ginni Thomas sent 29 texts to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about overturning the election in favor of former President Donald Trump.

“The left’s quest to delegitimize the Supreme Court found its latest outlet,” McConnell said. “This time it’s a coordinated effort to nullify the presence of Justice Clarence Thomas on the court.

“This clumsy bullying from the political branches is really beyond the pale. Justice Thomas is an exemplary jurist who has modeled fidelity to the rule of law for more than 30 years and counting.”

Ginni Thomas said she attended the rally in support of Trump that preceded the riots at the Capitol, but that she “played no role” in planning the events that took part that day. The House select committee investigating the riots has discussed requesting to interview Ginni Thomas.

Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Justice Thomas’ conduct on the Supreme Court “looks increasingly corrupt” in light of his wife’s vocal support of Trump.

“Judges are obligated to recuse themselves when their participation in a case would create even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” Wyden said last week. “A person with an ounce of commonsense could see that the bar is met here.”

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