President Donald Trump's unprecedented efforts to undo the results of the 2020 election—which saw President-elect Joe Biden defeat Trump's attempt at a second term—have further divided the nation and eroded faith in the democratic process among an unignorable faction of his supporters.
The President and his allies have amplified lies that widespread voter fraud, coordinated by Democrats, illegitimately swung the election to Biden. They've filed dozens of lawsuits and lost nearly 60, winning only one.
The most notable court case lost in the effort so far is the state of Texas' case against the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. The suit, which alleged the states broke federal law with their election procedures, was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Now, even as the electoral college acknowledges Biden's victory with over 270 of its votes, Trump's most ardent supporters still rail against the legitimacy of the election and even expect another four years of Trump.
Trump's disinformation has gone so far that one Republican lawmaker—Congressman Paul Mitchell of Michigan—changed his party affiliation to Independent out of disgust for the GOP.
Today I am disaffiliating from the Republican Party.
See my letter below: pic.twitter.com/76IxC4FMvJ
— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) December 14, 2020
In a letter to Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Mitchell wrote:
"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. Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that 'the Court failed him.' It was our Founding Fathers' objective to insulate the Supreme Court from such blatant political motivations."
"As a result, I am writing to advise you both that I am withdrawing from my engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level. I will support, contribute to, and fundraise for individual candidates who reflect the principles I hold dear. ... I am also requesting that the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives change my party affiliation to Independent for the remainder of my term in office. While admittedly symbolic, we all know that symbols matter."
Mitchell later elaborated on his decision in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.
Watch GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell, who voted for Trump, announce he is leaving the Republican Party and becoming an Independent:pic.twitter.com/Ym6rvaA71a
— The Recount (@therecount) December 14, 2020
The Congressman told Tapper:
"This election simply confirms for me that it's all about power first, and that, frankly, is disgusting and demoralizing."
People agreed with his assessment.
More of this, please. https://t.co/laR7NWC2AA
— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) December 14, 2020
Good for Mitchell. Nice to see there is some sense of decency left among conservatives in the US. https://t.co/JU0P8Q34UJ
— Massimo Pigliucci (@mpigliucci) December 14, 2020
— Venture Capital (@kelly2277) December 14, 2020
Must watch!! Great to see a sane GOP rep say what they all should be saying
— Derrill MacDonald (@DerrillMac) December 14, 2020
But others were less sympathetic, noting Mitchell's prior support for Trump and his imminent retirement from the House, only two weeks away.
Too little too late. Any GOP that bails now but was silent during the impeachment is just politically trying to cover their asses. I won't forget.
— Joy ⚓ (@sperky11) December 14, 2020
lol so, throwing a tantrum over the election results is what did it, not the years of virulent racism.
Of course. https://t.co/mAKTzd1sym
— Deeeee-licious (@angryblkhoemo) December 14, 2020
Sigh, after the election and a few weeks before he retires. I appreciate this for his citizen votes in the future. Would have been nice if he'd had the guts to call this much earlier, for the people who have died and the children ripped away from their parents.
— ☃️☃️ Donna 🎄 🎄 Hill 🍾🥂 (@rudyfan) December 14, 2020
Lol his term ends in like 20 days. (He's retiring.) https://t.co/Km7Yk85CvG
— Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) December 15, 2020
the fact that THIS was the last straw... and not... everything else... https://t.co/7spn5oc9q3
— lilliana🦋 (@fallingcanyonn) December 15, 2020
Mitchell's rebuke came the same day that would-be Republican electors of his state attempted to gain access to the state Capitol and submit electoral votes for Trump, who lost Michigan by over 150 thousand votes.