The General Services Administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, CNN was first to report.
More than 160 business leaders asked GSA chief Emily Murphy to immediately acknowledge Biden as president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration. “Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk,″ the business letters said in an open letter to Murphy.
Separately, more than 100 Republican former national security officials — including former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte — said in a statement that Trump’s refusal to concede and allow for an orderly transition “constitutes a serious threat” to America’s democratic process. The officials signing the letter worked under four Republican presidents, including Trump.
The statement called on “Republican leaders — especially those in Congress — to publicly demand that President Trump cease his anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election.”
The letter is the first step the administration has taken to acknowledge President Donald Trump’s defeat, more than two weeks after Biden was declared the winner in the election.
The letter signals that Murphy will formally sign off on Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. The move will allow the transition to officially begin, permitting current administration agency officials to coordinate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.
The move toward ascertainment comes after Michigan formally certified its election results on Monday and Georgia certified its razor-thin presidential results on Friday. Pennsylvania is nearing certification of its election results, too.
It’s the latest sign that Trump’s conspiracy-laden legal bid, led by Rudy Giuliani, to circumvent the outcome of the election is nearing an end. The Trump campaign’s lawsuits to delay certification of the election have been dismissed in multiple states, as his legal team has failed to provide any evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Murphy had refused to move forward with the ascertainment process, despite Biden’s clear victory, locking the President-elect’s team out of speaking with federal agencies. Murphy, a Trump political appointee, has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition.
GSA tells Biden transition can formally begin