Trump authorizes start of transition to US President-elect Biden

Joanna Estrada
November 24, 2020

Trump's legal team has also suffered a string of judicial defeats in its bid to prevent states from certifying Biden as the presidential election victor, and legal experts say the remaining cases do not give Trump a viable path to overturning the election results.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks down the West Wing colonnade from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden to deliver an update on the so-called "Operation Warp Speed" program.

The Trump campaign's legal efforts to overturn the election have nearly entirely failed in key battleground states, and a growing number of Republican leaders, business executives, and national security experts have urged the president to let the transition begin.

The Trump administration, experts say, never fully recovered from the slow pace of hiring from its mismanaged 2016 transition after Trump tossed aside carefully prepared plans the day after his victory. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also urged a smooth transition, saying in a statement Monday that "at some point, the 2020 election must end".

Trump, however, did not formally concede the election to Biden.

Republican Senator Rob Portman - co-chairman of Trump's campaign in OH who rarely breaks with party leaders - said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud and called for the transition to begin.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the latest to add her voice, slamming Trump's apparent "pressure campaign" on state legislators to try to overturn election results as "unprecedented" and "inconsistent with our Democratic process" while calling for Biden's ascertainment in a statement Sunday. A spokeswoman for the GSA said that a deputy administrator would instead hold two separate briefings for House and Senate committees on November 30.

In this June 21, 2019 file photo, General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Department of Homeland Security's St. Elizabeths Campus Center Building in Washington.

"Because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, I have determined that you may access the post-election resources and services described in Section 3 of the Act upon request", Murphy said in a letter to Biden, citing the Presidential Transition Act of 1963.

Portman said it was "only prudent" for GSA to begin the transition process immediately.

US President Donald Trump has endorsed a move by the General Services Administration (GSA) to begin the country's presidential transition process so that Democrat Joe Biden can potentially be sworn in on 20 January.

Murphy, in the letter, which was reported earlier by CNN, told Biden that she had received "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 determination prematurely".

The Biden-Harris Transition Team spent Monday announcing nominees for various positions, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state and former Secretary of State John Kerry as a representative on climate change.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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