Michigan congressman quits Republican Party over bid to overturn election

National

In this image from video, Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Mitchell said Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 he is leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent to protest efforts to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump. (House Television via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (NEXSTAR/AP) — A retiring Michigan congressman is leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent to protest efforts to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.

Rep. Paul Mitchell, of Dryden, is nearing the end of his second and final term. He wrote a letter to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday, the same day electors formalized Biden’s win.

“Today I am disaffiliating from the Republican Party,” Mitchell tweeted, along with a copy of the letter.

He said it’s “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.”

Members of the Republican caucus had signed on to a bid by the Texas Attorney General to throw out election results in swing states that went to Biden. The Supreme Court tossed out that challenge without hearing arguments.

President-elect Joe Biden said in a speech Monday his Electoral College victory of the same magnitude as President Donald Trump’s in 2016 is a signal that the current president should finally accept his own defeat in this year’s election.

Biden noted during a speech Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, that Trump called his 2016 tally of 306 electoral votes a “landslide.”

Biden says if that constituted a clear victory then, he wanted to “respectfully suggest” that Trump now accept Biden’s victory this year.

Trump has refused to concede defeat in the presidential vote, making repeated and unfounded allegations of widespread fraud.

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