But suppose, upon announcing rival returns from a state, Pence says something like, “I believe the votes cast for President Trump are the true votes, and I propose that Congress count those.” This would force a senator and representative, presumably Democrats, to object in writing to Pence’s proposal, and the two chambers would separate to debate and vote on this objection.

Should this happen, the Senate and House will certainly agree to count the official electoral votes for Biden and discard the crackpot votes for Trump. But Pence’s maneuver would make GOP senators take stands on whether they’re with Biden or Trump, even if McConnell manages to convince his entire caucus not to object to Biden’s votes.

Pence should not do this. Reports of his meeting with Brooks and other House members on Monday to discuss strategies for Jan. 6 raise concerns that he might. Although the vice president may want to use his role then to further prove his persistent loyalty to Trump, doing so would exacerbate the horrific damage that Trump has done to the Republican Party and the entire country by his assault on the truth of his defeat.