Skip to main content
Join Now
Image of an American flag with the words 'Republican Party' on it

< Back to All

Karamo Loses Again, This Time In Court

March 5, 2024

(GRAND RAPIDS) – A Kent County judge heard the last of the testimony before ruling that Kristina Karamo would not be able to continue to lead one of the two factions of the Michigan Republican Party before a June trial.

Judge J. Joseph Rossi said his ruling was based on his belief that the GOP faction led by Pete Hoekstra would likely prevail at trial. He said Karamo was already removed when her Jan. 13 meeting was amended to add the agenda item regarding her removal.

The Judge also deduced that there was a valid quorum at the Jan. 6 State Committee meeting at which Karamo was removed.

Karamo said in an interview that she would abide by the judge’s preliminary injunction.

“I will not call myself chairwoman because I’m not going to get into legal trouble, but we will not let this go. Our delegates will not let it go,” Karamo said.

She said she wouldn’t comment on if the Detroit convention would still take place, but said the idea of the convention called by Pete Hokestra was “an egregious issue” because her faction had already paid for the convention at Huntington Place.

“We have the parties pay for something to say that those tens of thousands of dollars to then go down the toilet because he wants to go to Grand Rapids,” Karamo said.

She said the “establishment party” doesn’t like Detroit and discourages activity.

Karamo said she had to talk to her counsel about whether they would appeal the ruling before the June bench trial.

“Under the judge’s ruling, I just can’t call myself chair, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to call Hoekstra chair,” she said.

She called him a “tyrant” who was only chair because of a minority rule. That said, she didn’t feel confident about whether they would be able to win the case in trial.

“I’m sure the judge will rule in his favor, and obviously I see the direction of this,” she said.

She pointed to the judge giving the plaintiff two days of testimony and the defense a half-day.

“Does that sound like justice to you?” Karamo asked.

She was not barred from party affairs and vowed to still fight “to save the country.”

“I’m never going to stop trying to fight to save the county. I live here. I was born here and I’ll die in America,” she said.

Hoekstra wrote in a statement the Michigan Republican Party (MRP) State Committee, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and former President Donald Trump have all agreed that Karamo was properly removed and he was elected the new MRP chair.

“It is time to unite and move forward with the business of delivering the state of Michigan for our Party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump,” Hoekstra said.

Karamo faction attorney Dan Hartman said after the Feb. 22 hearing in an interview with MIRS that more members of the party decided on Jan. 13 that Karamo was the chair and that Malinda Pego would be ousted as co-chair.  He said the judge’s opinion would need to be “considered and dealt with.”

“Ultimately, the person or entity that’s going to resolve whether or not chair Karamo is legitimately here is going to be the people,” Hartman said.

He cited a federal court case as evidence that the federal courts don’t have the authority to step in to party politics, but the 17th Circuit Court is a state court, not federal.

He said the RNC would also have a say in which delegates would be recognized and seated at the Republican National Convention when it is convened.

“We’re in an interesting situation where we are right now,” Hartman said.

Matthew Wilk, an attorney and Republican delegate under the Hoekstra faction, said on the MIRS Monday podcast that he hoped that Karamo would abide by the court orders.

“One of the things she’s been really consistent about is consistently moving the goalposts,” Wilk said.

He said she would step down if she was voted out. He said they did, and she didn’t leave, but instead asked to hear from Trump, who also recognized Hoekstra. The last goalpost he said she moved was when the RNC officially recognized Hoekstra.

“I have heard from her deputy chief of staff, saying we’re going to ignore the court. I, as a lawyer, would say I never in a million years recommend my client to ignore the court,” Wilk said.


Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog newsletter

Click here for more News & Resources.

Share On: