From the New York Times in 2020:
How the Media Could Get the Election Story Wrong
We may not know the results for days, and maybe weeks. So it’s time to rethink “election night.”
By Ben Smith
Published Aug. 2, 2020
Updated Jan. 20, 2021
… But conveniently, a group of former top government officials called the Transition Integrity Project actually gamed four possible scenarios, including one that doesn’t look that different from 2016: a big popular win for Mr. Biden, and a narrow electoral defeat, presumably reached after weeks of counting the votes in Pennsylvania. For their war game, they cast John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, in the role of Mr. Biden. They expected him, when the votes came in, to concede, just as Mrs. Clinton had.
But Mr. Podesta, playing Mr. Biden, shocked the organizers by saying he felt his party wouldn’t let him concede. Alleging voter suppression, he persuaded the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan to send pro-Biden electors to the Electoral College.
In that scenario, California, Oregon, and Washington then threatened to secede from the United States if Mr. Trump took office as planned. The House named Mr. Biden president; the Senate and White House stuck with Mr. Trump. At that point in the scenario, the nation stopped looking to the media for cues, and waited to see what the military would do.
The Boston Globe reported in July 2020:
A bipartisan group secretly gathered to game out a contested Trump-Biden election. It wasn’t pretty
The Boston Globe 20 hrs ago Jess Bidgood
… The scenario that produced the most contentious dynamics, however, was the one in which Trump won the Electoral College—and thus, the election—but Biden won the popular vote by 5 percentage points. Biden’s team retracted his Election Night concession, fueled by Democrats angry at losing yet another election despite capturing the popular vote, as happened in 2000 and 2016. In the mock election, Trump sought to divide Democrats—at one point giving an interview to The Intercept, a left-leaning news outlet, saying Senator Bernie Sanders would have won if Democrats had nominated him. Meanwhile, Biden’s team sought to encourage large Western states to secede unless pro-Democracy reforms were made.
Of course, John Podesta is not Joe Biden. But Podesta was picked by high level Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans to play Biden because he represents mainstream Establishment Democrats like Biden.
Amazing how little we’ve heard about this incident over the years.