In the wake of a popular vote and Electoral College victory for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, some Republicans are not done fighting for President Donald Trump.

Despite warnings from Senate GOP leadership, several House Republicans are reportedly plotting to overturn the Electoral College results when a joint session of Congress convenes Jan. 6, 2021, to ratify those results.

And the differences among GOP members aren’t just in Congress. The decision to accept the election results and focus on the future of the party sans Trump has also divided state party officials and elected GOP officials.

But fighting for Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the election was rigged won’t stop the inevitable: President-elect Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20 as the 46th President of the United States. And Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman to hold the nation’s second-highest executive office.

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speaks during a hearing to discuss election security and the 2020 election process on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Jim Lo Scalzo, Associated Press

Senate committee discusses election “irregularities”

On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson held an oversight hearing to “examine the irregularities in the 2020 election.” The Wisconsin senator and longtime ally of Trump said the hearing before the the Homeland Security and Government Affair Committee, which he chairs, will go ahead even though he acknowledged that the election results were legitimate.

“I haven’t seen anything that would convince me that the results — the overall national result — would be overturned,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.  

“Johnson’s evolution from ideologically driven standard-bearer of the tea party to one of Trump’s most stalwart defenders mirrors the arc of his party over the past decade,” The Washington Post reported. “With Johnson’s term expiring in 2022, Wednesday’s hearing could be both the last stand of Trump’s most fervent Senate follower and the first act of a post-Trump Republican Party,”

The hearing comes the day after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated incoming President-elect Biden on his Electoral College victory, and later joined party leaders in warning Senate colleagues to stop contesting the election.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, Trump retweeted a post that attacked McConnell — who won his seventh term last month — as “NOT a Patriot” and said that it was “too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!”

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A House divided

On Jan. 6, in a joint session of Congress, lawmakers will ratify this week’s Electoral College and declare Biden and Harris the victors.

The New York Times reported that Trump loyalists in the House are plotting to challenge the election results in swing states Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin on the House floor during the joint session.

“There is almost no chance they will succeed. But if they could persuade at least one senator to join them, they could force a vote on the matter, transforming a typically perfunctory session into a bitter last stand for Mr. Trump,” The Time reported. “Under rules laid out in the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887, their challenges must be submitted in writing with a senator’s signature also affixed.”

As of Wednesday, no senators had agreed to join the small group of House Republicans, according to the Times, appearing to stand fast with McConnell.

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A spokesman for Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee told The Hill the senator has “no plan” to support the efforts of House Republicans. Lee has been a loyal supporter of the president and campaigned for Trump earlier this year.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as recently as Tuesday afternoon, had not acknowledged that Republicans lost the presidential election, CNN reporter Many Raju tweeted.

States quarrel internally

The election causing divisions within the GOP were further detailed in a story from conservative digital media publication The Dispatch on Wednesday. The story — titled “Begun, the GOP Civil War Has” — shows how state GOP officials have attacked the high ranking state Republicans for distancing themselves from the one-term president’s ongoing fight against official election results.

“Pundits promised a GOP civil war if Donald Trump lost his reelection bid. It’s here, with one’s degree of loyalty to the outgoing president serving as the line of demarcation,” The Dispatch’s Declan Garvey wrote. “Degree is the operative word here, because both ‘sides’ of this post-election conflict are — and have been — incredibly loyal to the president.”

For example, The Dispatch cited GOP turmoil in Arizona and George where party leadership has attacked Republican public officials for appearing to stand against Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud — regardless of their former devotion to the president.

“How is it that the governor of Arizona (Republican Doug Ducey) could surrender to the mob and abandon our great President, all while working behind the scenes to undermine and get rid of our brave and beloved chairwoman (Kelli Ward)? No loyalty!,” the Arizona Republican Party tweeted last week.

Earlier this month, Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer announced that the Republican National Committee would join together in suing the state’s top election official, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“David Shafer and the Georgia GOP need to stop passing the buck for failing to deliver Georgia for Trump and actually focus on getting out the vote in January,” Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in response to the lawsuit, reported WTVM, in Columbus, Georgia.

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Herbert, Cox condemn Utah A.G. Reyes joining Texas lawsuit challenging election

In Utah, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert and Gov.-elect Spencer Cox condemned Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes’ decision last week for joining a Texas a lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania and other states that Trump lost.

The Supreme Court, which includes three conservative judges appointed by Trump, rejected the lawsuit on Friday.