GOP Congressman Paul Mitchell has ultimately opted to leave the GOP for the way Donald Trump's administration and some fellow party members challenged the results of the 2020 election.
Mitchell is entering retirement and has been a career Republican, but his final years in office will be spent as an Independent candidate.
After electors had confirmed Joe Biden's win, corroborating what the initial election results that were first reported on by the majority of mainstream media outlets, Mitchell had sent a letter explaining his decision to depart from the party he belonged to for so many years.
The note was addressed to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"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."
The 64-year-old politician stated that although he had reservations about Donald Trump, he ultimately cast his vote for the Republican President.
Those reservations were mainly the GOP's willingness to constantly push and/or abide countless "unfounded conspiracy theories" conflated with factual data and reporting. The "theories" Mitchell seems to be highlighting the most are the ones surrounding the 2020 election results: namely that the United States' voting system was "hacked".
It appears he is unhappy with the GOP's unwillingness to unanimously condemn any notion that the election could have been compromised. Mitchell did not add his signature to a Texas lawsuit, something 106 other members of the GOP did, which attempted to nullify the voting results in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rejected the lawsuit.
Rep. Paul Mitchell said;— 🏳️🌈The Obamacrat™ (@ifuaskmee) December 15, 2020
"As I saw that amicus brief as well as the discussions over the weekend in the national media, it became clear to me that I could no longer be associated with the Republican Party," #TuesdayThoughts #MorningJoe
Mitchell wrote, "I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the ‘stop the steal’ efforts, which is extremely disappointing to me. As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation."
GOP Congressman Paul Mitchell is quitting the Republican Party in disgust: “It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation & incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote"https://t.co/SxgIxJwlBb— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) December 15, 2020
While many people applauded Paul Mitchell's decision to stand by his principles, there were many others who called the move a display of "false courage," due to the fact that he is retiring from politics soon anyway.
AN EXAMPLE OF FALSE COURAGE— US first (@DonaldDucksIt) December 15, 2020
Rep. Paul Mitchell (R -MI) is so disgusted with Republican attacks on the Constitution that he is leaving the GOP and becoming an Independent. How brave! He is through on Jan. 3rd anyway. What about the other 100+ cowards still afraid of Trump?
Others asked Paul Mitchell to stay given his even-keeled approach to conservative politics. Several other GOP supporters expressed their wish for even more representatives like Mitchell to represent their interests in the future.
Paul Mitchell of Michigan don’t leave the Republican Party, please!! We need practical independent thinkers like you!! If all of the practical independent thinkers leave, what are the conservatives going to do? Stay and take the party back!!— Dave Pulliam (@DavidWPulliam) December 15, 2020
Let me clearly identify myself also - I stand with Rep Paul Mitchell. Conservative, independent, and ex Republican. And patriots. We don’t blindly follow ‘strongmen’. Guess that puts you in the ‘other’ category.— Ken Hamric (@KenHamric) December 15, 2020
Others pointed out that Paul Mitchell is also more than likely leaving because he had a reported net worth of $37.7 million according to USA Today, but there are some outlets who estimate it to be even greater. Many suggested he's looking forward to enjoying a cushy retirement after profiting handsomely from the GOP and Trump over the years and is just trying to end his career looking like a hero.
Wealthiest members of Congress (as of 2018):— Rob (@philosophrob) December 15, 2020
$214.1M - Mark Warner (D)
$189.3M - Greg Gianforte (R)
$179.6M - Paul Mitchell (R)
$157.2M - Vernon Buchanan (R)
$154.5M - Chris Collins (R)
$124.9M - Don Beyer (D)
$114.6M - Nancy Pelosi (D)
$87.9M - Dianne Feinstein (D)