President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates ‘Joe Biden Way’ to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans ‘either in complete lockstep’ or ‘afraid’ of Trump MORE’s team said Monday it wants to understand President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates ‘Joe Biden Way’ to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans ‘either in complete lockstep’ or ‘afraid’ of Trump MORE’s effort to “hollow out government agencies” shortly after the General Services Administration (GSA) said it would grant access to federal resources to begin the transition process.
“Today’s decision is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track,” Yohannes Abraham, a Biden transition official, said in a statement. “This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies.”
“In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies,” Abraham said.
The transition team’s statement came shortly after Trump-appointed GSA Administrator Emily Murphy sent a letter to Biden informing him and his team that the administration was ready to begin the formal transition process more than two weeks after Biden was projected the winner of the presidential election.
President Trump, who still has not conceded to Biden, said in two Monday tweets that he requested that his administration begin the transition process but noted he plans to “keep up the good fight.”
…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
The president’s campaign has filed several lawsuits in battleground states contesting the results and promoting unfounded claims of voter fraud but has experienced little success in the courts.
Murphy’s ascertainment will allow Biden’s team to access millions of dollars in federal resources to be used for the transition of power.
“As the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, I have the ability under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, as amended, to make certain post-election resources and services available to assist in the event of a presidential transition,” Murphy wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill.
“I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you,” she added.
She wrote that she came to the decision independently and was “never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official.”
Before Murphy offered federal resources for the transition, Biden and his team could not access funding, government officials or intelligence briefings. Several officials warned that such delays would threaten national security.