Even as President Donald Trump continues to dispute the reported results of last month’s election, a number of GOP officials who have previously opposed the administration have used the opportunity to insist that it is now time for the party to move past the Trump era.
One Republican lawmaker is going a step further, announcing this week that he was “disaffiliating” himself from the president and the Republican Party for the remainder of his time in office.
“Despite some reservations”
U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan, who has been an ardent critic of Trump personally even as he supported the administration’s policies, sent a letter on Monday to both Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) informing them of his decision.
Today I am disaffiliating from the Republican Party.
See my letter below: pic.twitter.com/76IxC4FMvJ
— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) December 14, 2020
Noting that he had voted for Trump in the recent election “despite some reservations about four more years under his leadership,” he declared the Democratic Party’s platform as “too radical” and not in line with his personal values.
Mitchell further pointed to his strong support for the RNC, McDaniel, and the House Republican caucus under McCarthy’s leadership — both in terms of fundraising and whipping votes for critical pieces of legislation.
He also took the opportunity to acknowledge “administrative errors and even some fraudulent voting likely occurred” during last month’s election, stressing that efforts should be taken in certain races to swiftly address and correct any such issues.
“Failed to provide substantive evidence”
Nevertheless, he said that Trump’s legal challenges “have failed to provide substantive evidence of fraud or administrative failure on a scale large enough to impact the outcome of the election.”
In the case of his own state, he asserted that Trump’s loss was not due to Democratic Party fraud in deep-blue areas like Wayne County but rather was caused by a drop in support across suburban and rural areas.
Noting that candidates have the right to request recounts and file lawsuits, he wrote: “Recounts have failed to significantly alter the vote outcome in any state and dozens of court cases have been summarily dismissed in both state and Federal courts across our nation.”
His letter went on to serve as notice of his exit from the Michigan GOP and withdrawal from his “engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level.”
Meanwhile, the president shows no signs that he is moving closer to conceding the election, recently asking via tweet how Biden could “have a presidency when a vast majority think the election was RIGGED.”