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In a letter to Joe Biden, General Services Administrator Emily Murphy informed him that certain post-election resources and services would be made available to assist in the event of a transition.
Murphy reiterated her independence in determining to do this, asserting that she never received any pressure or direction from Executive Branch officials to delay her determination. She did note that she had received significant pressure to speed up her determination:
I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff and even my pets to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.
She denied media reports that her decision was made out of fear or favoritism. She noted that the statute governing this process does not provide standards.
Murphy also stated that she does not evaluate legal disputes related to election outcomes. That role belongs to the election certification process and the courts making determinations based on federal and state election laws as the Constitution prescribes. Because of this delineation, she strongly encouraged Congress to amend the Act to provide reasonable guidelines for a GSA to begin the process or transfer responsibility. As GSA, she is responsible for improving procurement and property management, not election law.
She noted that Biden would be appropriated $6.3 million to carry out the provisions of Section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act and $1 million to begin required training for staff. This includes the appointment of high-level staff members, establishing a transition team, and the ability to guide the federal agencies from the incoming administration regarding anticipated changes.
The Act does not require President Trump to concede the election, end the legal challenges, or begin the more formal and public process we saw when President Trump and outgoing President Obama met in person. You can read the entire communication below:
NEWS: The GSA has informed president-elect Joe Biden the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from administrator Emily Murphy sent Monday afternoon and obtained by CNN, via @KristenhCNN (story TK!)
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) November 23, 2020