Michigan Democratic State Lawmaker Tells Trump She's Filed Lawsuit Against Whitmer

Michigan Democratic Representative Karen Whitsett told President Donald Trump Thursday that she had filed a lawsuit against state Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitsett did not reveal why the lawsuit was filed or what it alleged. Governor Whitmer has been the subject of numerous lawsuits, many from members of the state GOP, who attempted to limit the governor's emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. Whitsett was perceived as siding with Republicans after thanking Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for publicizing the use of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of coronavirus. Representative Whitsett credited the drug with saving her life in March.

Whitsett revealed the legal action during a Thursday meeting between Trump and African American and faith leaders. "I actually filed a lawsuit to the governor today as well," Whitsett told Trump.

"Thank you very much," President Trump responded. "Great job."

Newsweek reached out to the offices of Representative Whitsett and Governor Whitmer for comment. This story will be updated with any response.

Whitsett visited the White House in April, telling President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that hydroxychloroquine, taken in combination with an antibiotic, had reduced her coronavirus symptoms. After Whitsett praised the president, she was censured by Michigan's 13th Congressional District Democratic Party.

karen whitsett
Michigan Representative Karen Whitsett informed President Donald Trump on Thursday that she had filed a lawsuit against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

According to the resolution, Whitsett had placed the lives of her constituents in danger by supporting "the president's delayed and misguided COVID-19 response efforts in contradiction with the scientifically based and action-oriented response."

The District also said in an April statement that Whitsett "would be better served if she considered the suggestion made by President Trump to join the Republican Party."

Whitsett said during an interview with Fox News that she believed Governor Whitmer was behind her censure, calling the action "politics at its best."

Legal actions against Governor Whitmer by Michigan Republicans have largely failed. Thursday, a lawsuit filed by the Michigan GOP which attempted to limit Whitmer's authority was tossed out by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens.

The lawsuit alleged that Whitmer had no right to further extend the state's emergency and disaster declarations which could have also allowed stay-at-home orders to be extended. Although Michigan's House and Senate refused to extend the emergency declaration, Whitmer chose to push them out further. Judge Stephens claimed Whitmer's actions were legal under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act instituted in 1945.

Under that act, states of emergency can only be stopped "upon declaration by the governor that the emergency no longer exists."

Whitmer's office praised the decision of the court in a statement sent to Newsweek on Thursday, noting that the ruling "recognizes that the Governor's actions to save lives are lawful and her orders remain in place."