Almost three weeks after the presidential election, the Government Services Administration (GSA) is allowing President-elect Joe Biden to begin the transition process.
GSA Administrator Emily Murphy had held up federal resources and services allocated to assist in the transition process for weeks even as major news outlets began to call the race for the former vice president.
But, in a letter to the Biden team on Monday, Murphy said she made the decision to let the transition begin “independently, based on the law and available facts.”
While Murphy stressed that her decision does not officially determine the winner of the election, she said, “I have determined that you may access the post-election resources and services described in Section 3 of the Act upon request.”
“To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination. 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 decision prematurely,” she continued.
Additionally, Murphy said she delayed the decision to “ascertain” and “apparent” winner of the election because the law that requires her to do so “provides no procedures or standards for this process” when the results of an election are contested.
Read the letter below:
BREAKING: GSA Emily Murphy has informed president-elect Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process. Letter obtained by @GeoffRBennett: pic.twitter.com/hBqk8mtdzL— Amanda Golden (@amandawgolden) November 23, 2020
“The actual winner of the presidential election will be determined by the electoral process detailed in the Constitution,” she added.
In a statement, the Biden campaign said, “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.”
“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,” the statement added.
And while Trump has yet to concede the election, he tweeted, “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.”
…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
“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,” he added.
Her decision comes amid mounting pressure from Congressional Democrats to “ascertain” the “apparent” winner to let the transition begin.
Even some Congressional Republicans voiced their support for the process to begin. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said he believes the administration should let the process begin.
“It’s past time to start a transition, to at least cooperate with a transition. I’d rather have a president who has more than one day to prepare, should Joe Biden end up winning this,” he said.
He added, “I just think you have to begin that process, give the incoming administration all the time they need.”