Michigan congressman leaves GOP over Trump's attempts to overturn the election

Paul Mitchell
(Image credit: CNN)

President Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election have driven one retiring lawmaker out of the Republican Party.

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell revealed in an interview with CNN on Monday he's quitting the GOP and becoming an independent, blasting Trump for continuously challenging President-elect Joe Biden's election win and Republican leaders for not shooting down his efforts.

"This party has to stand up for democracy first, for our Constitution first, and not political considerations," Mitchell told CNN. "Not to protect a candidate. Not simply for raw political power. And that's what I feel is going on, and I've had enough."

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Mitchell, who noted he voted for Trump in the 2020 election and supported his policies "96 percent of the time," also released a copy of a letter to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in which he writes that Trump's legal team has "failed to provide substantive evidence" of widespread voter fraud and urges Republican leaders not to "sit back and tolerate" his "unfounded conspiracy theories."

"With the leadership of the Republican Party and our Republican Conference in the House actively participating in at least some of those efforts, I fear long-term harm to our democracy," he writes.

Given that he only has a few weeks left in office, Mitchell acknowledges in his letter that this move is "symbolic." But he adds, "We all know that symbols matter." Brendan Morrow

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