White House Appeals Judge’s Decision To Restore Brian Karem’s Hard Pass
The White House is appealing a federal judge’s decision from earlier this month to restore the hard pass of Playboy’s correspondent Brian Karem.
The Trump administration suspended Karem’s credentials after a raucous incident in July in which he got in argument with former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka following a Rose Garden ceremony.
The notice of appeal was filed Friday in federal court in Washington. Karem’s attorneys and those of the administration also filed a joint motion to stay the proceedings pending the appeal.
On Sept. 3, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras granted Karem’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. He found that White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham’s rationale for revoking the pass was too vague.
“White House events appear to vary greatly in character,” Contreras wrote in his opinion. “Thus, without any contextual guideposts, ‘professionalism,’ standing alone, remains too murky to provide fair notice here.”
Karem returned to work at the White House the next day.
After Grisham informed Karem she was suspending his hard pass for 30 days, calling his conduct “unacceptable and disruptive,” he sued. A hard pass, meant for full-time reporters at the White House, allows reporters to come and go without having to apply for credentials each time they visit.
Karem and Gorka got into a confrontation following the conclusion of a July 11 Rose Garden event, in which Trump spoke to an audience that included Gorka and other right-leaning media personalities and supporters.
Gorka claimed that Karem threatened him when he said that they should “go outside and have a long conversation.”
Contreras wrote in his ruling that “no doubt, Karem’s remark that he and Gorka could ‘go outside and have a long conversation,’ was an allusion to a physical altercation, but the videos make clear that it was meant as an irreverent, caustic joke and not as a true threat.”