The U.S. General Services Administration took the initial steps for Joe Biden’s transition team to begin coordinating with the Trump Administration, even as President Trump vowed to continue contesting election results in six crucial states.
Emily Murphy, the Administrator at the GSA, sent a letter to president-elect Biden to formally begin the process of transition. The move frees up federal funding for transition costs, allows Biden appointees to coordinate with their Trump Administration counterparts, and provides for Biden to receive more detailed intelligence and pandemic-related briefings.
In the letter, Murphy said that she started the process “because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.” Murphy, who said that she and her family received numerous threats in recent weeks, told Biden that she “came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official–including those who work at the White House or GSA–with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”
Following the release of the letter, President Trump tweeted his support for Murphy’s decision and promised his supporters that he would continue his court battles. In the tweets, the President said, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good…fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”
...fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
President Trump faced increasing pressure from elected Republicans and officials within his own Administration to begin the transition process after setbacks in court over the last several days and after Michigan certified their election results Monday, the Washington Post reports. The Michigan Board of Canvassers certified the results on a 3-0 vote, with Republican Norman Shinkle abstaining and calling Michigan’s election “a national embarrassment.”
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander released a statement Monday calling on the President to “take pride in his considerable accomplishments, put the country first and have a prompt and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed.” He concluded, “When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do.” Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana also made similar statements Monday.
President Trump and his team have not relented in their allegations of fraud in the 2020 election and said the transition process will not stop their court battles. “Jenna Ellis, the Trump campaign’s senior legal advisor, called certification of election results in Michigan “a procedural step” and said they will “continue combating election fraud around the country as we fight to count all the legal votes.”
President Trump reinforced Ellis’s message. He tweeted that the legal challenges will continue “on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history.” He added “we are moving full speed ahead. We will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion.’”
What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history? We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & “Dominion”.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2020
President Trump also said that the transition memo from Emily Murphy has no standing in determining who won the November 3rd election. He tweeted, “Remember, the GSA has been terrific, and Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be.”
Remember, the GSA has been terrific, and Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2020
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff, Getty Images/Scott Olson/Staff
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”