On Dec. 14, as the members of the Electoral College were set to meet and certify electors in all 50 states, Ian Northon, a lawyer for Amistad Project, tried to deliver a false slate of pro-Trump electors to the Michigan Legislature in Lansing, but was turned away by state troopers. That same day, the Amistad Project’s director, Phill Kline, fanned across right-wing media outlets promoting the fake elector plan.

On a podcast run by Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump, Mr. Kline declared that only state lawmakers had the power to decide who should be electors, “not governors or local election officials or even the Congress of the United States.”

Mr. Kline also appeared on One America News, the conservative television network, saying that if dueling slates of electors cast doubt on the results of the election, then the House of Representatives would get to decide who won — and that would lead to a victory for Mr. Trump.

Some of Mr. Trump’s own aides were pushing this same gambit. As the Electoral College gathered to vote, Stephen Miller, a top adviser to Mr. Trump at the time, announced on Fox News that state lawmakers in several “contested states” were sending “an alternate slate of electors” to Congress.

“This will ensure that all of our legal remedies will remain open,” Mr. Miller said.

Even after the Electoral College certified Mr. Biden’s victory, ignoring the fake slates, Mr. Kline and other allies of Mr. Trump did not give up the fight.

On Dec. 22, 2020, the Amistad Project filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the state lawmakers whose alternate slates were rejected had been “prohibited from fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities.”

The lawsuit — which was ultimately dismissed — sought a judicial order that would have essentially forced Mr. Pence to acknowledge the fake electors on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress met to issue the final count of the Electoral College results.



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