Trump’s GSA admin ascertains Biden’s win after 16-day delay

GSA administrator Emily Murphy denied that her refusal to ascertain the election was due to 'fear or favoritism.'

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GSA administrator Emily Murphy is signing off on President Joe Biden’s election victory which will now officially begin his transition to power as the next commander in chief.

It has been 16 days since Biden was declared President-elect and Sen. Kamala Harris as Vice-President-elect. However, Murphy, who serves as the administrator General Services Administration , has been steadfast in refusing to sign a letter of ascertainment that formally recognizes Biden’s win.

Murphy’s failure to do so prevented Biden and Harris from accessing federal funds, F.B.I. clearance for staff picks, and intel briefings.

Emily Murphy Joe Biden
(Credit: Murphy and Getty Images)

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Murphy’s letter means Biden and Harris will formally begin their transition in the coming days, which will entail the transition team meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, national security, and an overview of federal agencies led Trump administration.

The House Oversight and Reform and Appropriations sent a letter last week demanding the presence of Murphy on Monday to demand why she had refused to begin the transition. Murphy did not show but she reversed course on her stonewalling in a letter. Murphy formally gave Biden the resources to transition which includes including $6.3 million late in the afternoon.

“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,” Murphy wrote in the letter.

She further denied that her refusal to ascertain the election was due to “fear or favoritism.”

The Biden-Harris team welcomed the decision in a statement and claimed it was a “needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing the nation.”

Read the statement in full by Yohannes Abraham, Biden-Harris Transition Executive Director.

“The GSA Administrator has ascertained President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the apparent winners of the election, providing the incoming Administration with the resources and support necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power. 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.”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Instagram)

President Donald Trump reacted to Murphy’s decision via a series of tweets. He praised Murphy for her “dedication” and stated that it was in the “best interest” of the country and his administration to help with the transition of power.

Read More: Biden urges Trump to aid transition: ‘More people may die’

“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. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good…,” he wrote.

“…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.”

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