On the same day that the Electoral College confirmed the White House victory of Joe Biden, retiring Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan told leading Republicans that he was leaving the GOP and becoming an Independent for the final days of his Congressional career, fed up with President Donald Trump’s never-ending effort to subvert Biden’s victory.
“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,’” Mitchell told CNN.
In a letter to the national GOP chair and the Republican leader of the House, Mitchell said the embrace of a constitutionally faulty election lawsuit by over 120 House GOP lawmakers was a bridge too far.
“I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support ‘stop the steal’ efforts,” Mitchell wrote.
“I fear long-term harm to our democracy,” he added.
Mitchell becomes the second Republican member from Michigan to switch to Independent in this Congress, joining Rep. Justin Amash, who also left because of President Trump.
Amash officially switched to the Libertarian Party earlier this year.
“Paul is one of the most thoughtful, collegial and decent Republicans I serve with in Congress,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). “He’s getting on the right side of history, and his own conscience.”
Mitchell is the third member to switch parties in the House in the 116th Congress, joining Amash, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who went from being a Democrat to the Republican side of the aisle.