Trump stumps in Michigan for election fraud conspiracists DePerno and Karamo 

By: - April 3, 2022 8:15 am

Former President Donald Trump rally in Washington Twp. on April 2, 2022 | Allison R. Donahue

Former President Donald Trump returned to Michigan Saturday to boost two Republican candidates — Matt DePerno for attorney general and Kristina Karamo for secretary of state — who have helped spread election fraud conspiracies.

The 2020 presidential election, in which Trump lost to President Joe Biden in Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, was a big theme of the night during the rally in Washington Township in Macomb County. 

“We have to find the radical Democrat officials who gave us this total calamity, starting with your socialist Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and your lawless Attorney General Dana Nessel,” Trump said to a crowd of thousands of steadfast supporters. 

DePerno and Karamo both took the stage two times each throughout the night, touting ways they would tighten voter restrictions if they were elected. 

DePerno is a lawyer who rose to infamy after filing a case challenging the Antrim County 2020 general election results and has amplified numerous baseless accusations and false statements regarding rigged election equipment and thrown-out ballots. He was also involved in a so-called “audit” in Arizona that ended up reaffirming Biden’s victory, and has pushed for Michigan to have a “forensic audit” of its own. 

Michigan has conducted over 250 state and local election audits of the 2020 election, all of which have shown no evidence of widespread fraud. 

DePerno told delegates to “storm” GOP conventions and cast votes for him and Karamo. 

“Every one of you delegates needs to get to your county conventions. Donald Trump is still the leader of this party,” DePerno said. “This right here is the continuation of the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement and we have President Donald Trump to thank for that.”

DePerno is up against former state House Speaker Tom Leonard and state Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Twp.) for Republican delegates’ nomination at the state convention on April 23. The winner will face off against Nessel in November. 

Trump said he has “heard horrible things” about Leonard and claimed to not know who he is, despite the fact that Trump nominated Leonard for U.S. attorney in 2019. The nomination was stopped by U.S. Sens. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing).

“A lot of fraud, a lot of irregularities. But your Democrats didn’t want to look into it, and you have a lot of RINO [Republican in name only] Republicans that didn’t want to look into it,” Trump said.

Trump called Karamo, who has pushed QAnon theories that the 2020 election was stolen, spoke at a QAnon conference and testified about election fraud in Wayne County after being a poll watcher at the former TCF Center in Detroit, a “respected woman who is loved by everybody.”

“I am so excited to be your next secretary of state to make sure that no matter who you vote for or what you believe, your vote counts and your vote isn’t nullified by an illegal ballot,” Karamo said. 

Karamo is battling state Rep. Beau LaFace (R-Iron Mountain) and Chesterfield Township Clerk Cindy Berry for the Republican secretary of state nomination.

There were a few other GOP leaders in the crowd Saturday who won Trump’s praise, including gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, state Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers), congressional candidate John Gibbs and U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Twp.). Gubernatorial candidate James Craig was also in the crowd, but didn’t get a shout out from the former president. 


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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8.