Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell resigns from GOP in response to Trump’s election legal challenges

It’s no secret that a number of establishment Republican politicians have contempt for President Donald Trump and have been willing to risk Democratic control of the nation’s policy agenda if it means Trump is no longer in power.

It would appear that retiring Rep. Paul Mitchell (I-MI) was one of those Republicans — until now. On Monday, he announced his resignation from all parts of the Republican Party for the remainder of his tenure in office, due to Trump’s continued challenges of the reported election results, Breitbart reported.

“Disaffiliating”

Mitchell’s party resignation letter dated Dec. 14 was addressed to both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and was also copied to Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox.

In that letter, Mitchell touted his conservative voting record and even acknowledged that he voted for Trump’s reelection, “despite some reservations about four more years under his leadership,” and in light of the knowledge that the Democratic policy agenda was “too radical” and not reflective of his principles.

He also played up his own personal relationships with both McCarthy and McDaniel, whether it be whipping votes in support of Republican legislation or fundraising on behalf of the Republican Party and other Republican candidates.

“Unacceptable”

Mitchell even wrote in his letter of the “disconcerting aspects to this election” and admitted — similar to Trump and his supporters — that “both administrative errors and even some fraudulent voting likely occurred.”

He urged state legislatures, including his own in Michigan, to quickly take steps to address those concerns and issues in order to ensure that, in future elections, “every legal vote counts.”

“However, the president and his legal team have failed to provide substantive evidence of fraud or administrative failure on a scale large enough to impact the outcome of the election,” the outgoing congressman wrote.

Trump’s fault

After suggesting that it was Trump’s fault, and not alleged fraud in Democratic strongholds, that he lost Michigan, Mitchell spoke about being able to lose gracefully as a politician, something he asserted that Trump is seemingly incapable of doing.

“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,” he wrote. He later added, “If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and ‘stop the steal’ rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, … our nation will be damaged.”

In wrapping up his complaints about how Trump and Republican leadership were handling the disputed election results, Mitchell wrote, “As a result, I am writing to advise you both that I am withdrawing from my engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level.”

“I am also requesting that the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives change my party affiliation to Independent for the remainder of my term in office,” he concluded. “While admittedly symbolic, we all know that symbols matter.”

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