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Alito says he won’t recuse himself over wife’s flag flap

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told critics in a letter Wednesday that he has no plans to recuse himself from cases involving the Jan. 6 capitol attack or former President Donald Trump’s request for presidential immunity.

The letter comes after controversy about the flags flown at Alito’s houses, which some members of Congress have said indicate the justice can’t be fair on matters before the nation’s highest court.

“My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not,” he wrote in the letter.

He said his wife chose to fly an upside-down American flag at a house they own jointly in Virginia. The other incident involved the “Appeal to Heaven” flag at a beach house. On Wednesday, Alito said he was aware of the flag but didn’t know how long it had flown. Alito also said he wasn’t familiar with the “Appeal to Heaven” flag or its connection to the “Stop the Steal Movement.”

Regardless, he said his wife can do as she likes and he doesn’t need to step down from the Trump cases.

“The two incidents you cite do not meet the conditions for recusal,” Alito wrote in a letter distributed by the Supreme Court. “As I have stated publicly, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the flying of that flag. I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention.”

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