Should Clarence Thomas recuse himself from cases about the January 6 riots?

Hosted by

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas arrives with his wife, Ginni Thomas, for a state dinner for Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the White House on Sep. 20, 2019. Photo by Erin Scott via Reuters.

How long is seven hours? It’s not long if you’re binging our show, but that’s a long time to not have records of telephone calls made by former President Trump on January 6, 2021. 

There’s a lot of news here, so here’s the TL;DR: A federal judge has ruled that Trump “more likely than not” committed felonies in his attempts to overturn the election, and the DOJ has expanded its investigation into the Capitol riots, hiring 131 more attorneys to work the case. 

And then, there’s those texts between Ginni Thomas (the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas) and Mark Meadows, the former White House Chief of Staff, urging Meadows to take steps to overturn the election … as well as her participation in the riots.

So, should Justice Thomas recuse himself from cases about the insurrection? Does that set a dangerous precedent for future justices, or is staying on the bench a blatant conflict of interest?

Guest host Kimberly Atkins Stohr of the Boston Globe discusses with panelists Sarah Isgur, staff writer and podcast host for the Dispatch, on the right; David Dayen, executive editor at the American Prospect, on the left; and our special guest Anthony L. Fisher, senior opinion editor at the Daily Beast. 

Then: New budget just dropped. President Biden released his roadmap for 2023 government spending, and it’s got a hefty price tag of $5.8 trillion. This, of course, will be reshaped before it gets past Congress in September. But does it do enough to tackle COVID and rampant inflation? And is Biden squirreling away his executive power in favor of gridlocks in the legislature? 

Plus: The Russian invasion of Ukraine is still unfolding, with no end in sight as peace talks drag on. That means more pain at the pump for Americans, which Biden’s trying to address by releasing roughly 180 million barrels of oil from U.S. reserves in the next few months. Is this a sign that America needs to go electric? And if so, can Congress agree on how to do it?

Finally, our panelists rant from across the political spectrum about Republican office gossip, racist college admissions tests, and the slap heard around the world.