President Donald Trump directed General Services Administrator Emily Murphy and the rest of his administration Monday to formally begin the transition process with Joe Biden.
“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country,” the president tweeted. “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,” Trump added.
GSA sent a letter to Biden
Earlier the day, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy sent a letter (pdf) to Biden and notified the former vice president that some transition resources, including $6,300,000 for the Biden transition team to carry out the provisions of Section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act (pdf) and another $1,000,000 for the Biden team to provide appointee orientation sessions and a transition directory, are available for him from now on.
“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. Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” Murphy wrote. “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.”
To qualify for the appropriations, the Biden team must meet the reporting requirements outlined in Section 6 of the Presidential Transition Act.
However, Murphy made it clear that the presidency is not decided yet.
“GSA does not dictate the outcome of legal disputes and recounts, nor does it determine whether such proceedings are reasonable or justified,” she continued. “These are issues that the Constitution, federal laws, and state laws leave to the election certification process and decisions by courts of competent jurisdiction. I do not think that an agency charged with improving federal procurement and property management should place itself above the constitutionally-based election process. I strongly urge Congress to consider amendments to the Act.”
Murphy said she made the decision independently amid a huge amount of threats.
“I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law,” read the letter.
Biden transition director Yohannes Abraham called the announcement “a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track.”
“This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies,” Abraham wrote in a statement. “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.”
GSA to Brief the Congress on Nov. 30
The GSA confirmed to The Epoch Times earlier on Monday that it would soon brief some members of Congress on the presidential transition.
Allison Brigati, a deputy administrator at the GSA, will spend 30 minutes on Nov. 30 to brief House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and two subcommittee chairmen Reps. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).
The top Republicans on each committee and subcommittee will also be at the briefing. They are Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Steve Womack (R-Ark.).
The GSA is also expected to host on Nov. 30 an in-person briefing for staff members on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a GSA spokesperson told The Epoch Times.
Staffers for the House Appropriations and Oversight committees are invited to the Senate staff briefing.
The GSA, which oversees presidential transitions, has been thrown into the national spotlight after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden declared victory in the 2020 election. Trump has alleged voter fraud and said any declarations of victory are premature. His campaign has mounted legal challenges over a variety of alleged voting irregularities in battleground states.