Trump Appointee Won’t Give Biden Materials Required To Begin Full Transition Process

President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Chase Center on November 7, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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November 9, 2020 8:59 a.m.

General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy has yet to sign the letter authorizing President-elect Joe Biden to start the full process of transitioning to the White House.

“An ascertainment has not yet been made, and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law,” GSA spokesperson Pamela Pennington said in a statement to the Washington Post.

The letter, which affirms the “apparent winner” of a presidential race, grants the Biden transition team the necessary resources to begin the shift to a new
administration. Transition officials receive, among other things, offices, email addresses, access to agencies’ current political and career officials to discuss projects and deadlines, and $9.9 million to pay for it all.

Biden does not need the letter to start the process of obtaining security clearances and implementing background checks for potential nominees.

Despite his defeat last week, President Donald Trump has refused to concede the race, insisting without evidence that the election had been swayed by voter fraud. His lawyers have been attempting to invalidate the results in various swing states that Biden won.

A senior official told the Post that “No agency head is going to get out in front of the president on transition issues right now.”

A spokesperson for the Biden transition team said in a statement that “now that the election has been independently called for Joe Biden, we look forward to the GSA Administrator quickly ascertaining Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President-elect and Vice President-elect.”

“America’s national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and swiftly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power,” the official continued.

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