The transfer of power in the United States to president elect Joe Biden’s new government can begin officially. Biden received a letter from the government agency General Service Administration (GSA), signed by current President Donald Trump. However, Trump’s many trials against the election results in several American states are still ongoing.
That federal government service under the leadership of Emily Murphy, appointed by Trump, until recently refused to recognize Biden’s election victory, thus depriving the Democrat of access to federal government funds.
“I take this role seriously and, due to recent developments in lawsuits and the certification of election results, I am sending you this letter today to make these resources and services available to you,” writes Murphy to Biden.
Earlier, the official stated that she wanted to be “assured” of Biden’s election victory before giving the green light to the transfer of power.
The GSA’s agreement on the transfer of power is of great practical importance to Biden. That service should allow the election winner’s team access to items such as office space, equipment and money to pay salaries. Millions of dollars are involved.
Biden’s transitional team calls the GSA’s decision a crucial event for a good and peaceful transfer of power. The team says it’s setting up rapid meetings on the corona epidemic and national security between the incoming president and federal government officials. So far, Biden has had to deal mainly with unofficial briefings and had no access to relevant classified information.
Trump: ‘GSA must do what needs to be done’
In a tweet Trump supports the GSA’s decision to “do what needs to be done on the first protocols”. He also says he’ll let his own team do the same. The tweet seems to be the first open signal that Trump recognizes his electoral defeat.
However, Trump emphasizes in his report that he will continue his legal fight against his electoral defeat. In a tweet a few hours later, Trump wonders what the preparatory work that the GSA is starting with the Democrats has to do with his fight against “the most corrupt elections in American history”. “We’re going full speed. I will never yield to false ballots.”
According to Trump and his allies, there was widespread fraud in the elections at the beginning of this month, but so far there is no evidence of this.
Prior to the elections, Trump refused on several occasions to guarantee that he would cooperate if he lost a peaceful transfer of power. In recent weeks, doubts have also been raised in government circles, for example by Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo, who seemed to be funnily referring to a second term for Trump.
GSA head Murphy: “not pressured”
The GSA is a party-neutral organization, which should help the new president fill in important functions within the government in the two months before the installation. This way, a president can get off to a good start immediately after the inauguration.
GSA head Murphy has been getting a lot of criticism lately because she didn’t recognize the results. “My decision was not made on the basis of fear or nepotism,” writes Murphy in her letter. She adds that she was not pressured by the White House and that she made the decision to start the transfer of power all by herself.