Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) on Monday issued a pointed rebuke of President Trump as he announced his departure from the Republican Party, citing the sitting president’s vehement refusal to halt his legal efforts challenging election results even as the Electoral College is set to cement President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Mitchell, who announced last year that he would not seek a third term and will retire at the end of this session of Congress, wrote in a letter to GOP leaders on Monday that he is fed up with Trump’s legal efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the election process, which spurred him to request that the Clerk of the House change his party affiliation to “independent.”
Mitchell also told GOP leaders in a letter issued Monday that he has decided to withdraw from “engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level.”
Mitchell wrote in his letter that he is concerned with House GOP leadership continuing to egg on Trump’s bogus allegations of widespread election fraud as the sitting president’s legal team attempts to throw out millions of ballots in order to overturn Biden’s legitimate victory have proven fruitless.
Mitchell warned that Trump’s lawsuits sowing doubt on the election process could cause “long-term harm to our democracy” and that it is “unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote.”
Mitchell took further aim at Republican leaders who had been “collectively sit(ting) back and tolerat(ing) unfounded conspiracy theories and ‘stop the steal’ rallies without speaking out for our electoral process,” and that the breaking point for him was when “the leadership of the Republican Party and our Republican Conference in the House actively participating in at least some of those efforts.”
Mitchell, who voted for Trump twice and has been a strong supporter of the President policy-wise as well, also appeared to jab Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in his letter. Mitchell suggested to McDaniel that he’s sure she knows better than to play along with the baseless voter fraud claims that Trump has spouted.
Today I am disaffiliating from the Republican Party.
See my letter below: pic.twitter.com/76IxC4FMvJ
— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) December 14, 2020
During an interview on CNN Monday afternoon, Mitchell reiterated his rebuke of Trump’s flailing efforts to overturn the election results and Republican leaders who are still going along with the sitting president’s long shot efforts of a second term.
Retiring MI @RepPaulMitchell, who voted for Trump, announces he is leaving the GOP and becoming an Independent:
“I could no longer be associated with a Republican party that leadership does not stand up and say the process, the election, is over. It's over today.” pic.twitter.com/Ym6rvaA71a
— The Recount (@therecount) December 14, 2020
Mitchell’s latest remarks come a week after 126 House Republicans banned together to back Texas attorney general Ken Paxton’s (R) lawsuit that attempted to toss votes in four battleground states that Biden won. On Friday, the Supreme Court rejected Paxon’s lawsuit.
This isn’t the first time Mitchell has called Trump out on his legal battles that have failed to gain steam.
Mitchell took aim at Trump after the sitting president vowed to “keep going” in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday morning.
Courts have heard the “evidence” provided of “fraud” and found it unsubstantiated numerous times. Continuing this circus is just …so damaging … so unproductive … so narcissistic…what about our country? https://t.co/QsA1hLJ2iq
— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) December 13, 2020
Late last month, Mitchell urged Trump to stop waging lawsuits that center around baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud.
— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) November 30, 2020