Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., said Monday he is leaving his party and becoming an Independent because Republicans have not stood up to President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the election.
Mitchell said in an interview with CNN that the breaking point for him was the amicus brief signed by over 100 Republican House members in support of the unsuccessful Texas-led bidto overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win at the Supreme Court, which made unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud and argued that voting procedures in four battleground states violated their own state laws.
"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, that leadership does not stand up and say the process, the election, is over," he said. "It's over today."
Mitchell added, "And then I saw the president tweet out that it's not over until January 20th and somehow, he is going to continue to combat this."
Michell sent a letter to Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Monday informing them of his decision.
Few Republicans have criticized Trump publicly as has tried to undermine the integrity of the election and overturn the results in several swing states. The president has also vowed to continue his election fight even after the Electoral College meets to cement Biden's win.
Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired on Sunday, “It’s not over. We keep going,” referring to the election fight.
Mitchell, who is retiring at the end of this session of Congress, said he voted for Trump and supported the administration the vast majority of the time. "But this party has to stand up for democracy first, for our Constitution first, and not political considerations, not to protect a candidate, not simply for raw political power," he said. "And that is what I feel is going on, and I've had enough."
All 50 states have already certified their election results, ensuring that Biden will be the 46th president, but the Electoral College vote on Monday makes the result official.
All 538 electors are meeting in their states to cast their votes for president based on the election results. According to an NBC News tally, Biden's election as the 46th president became official in early evening after California pushed him past the 270-vote threshold he needed for victory with its 55 electoral votes.