So far, I’ve admittedly not paid Trump much mind when it comes to his refusal to concede the election. For the first time in my life perhaps, I fully embraced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view of things, keeping in mind what she said in July: “Whether [Trump] knows it yet, or not, he will be leaving.”
But apparently Trump is significantly gumming up the transfer of power by preventing an obscure federal official from signing a letter that allows the presidential transition process to begin.
According to the Washington Post, the official in charge of the paperwork is a “little-known” Trump-appointed administrator named Emily Murphy who resides in a “low-profile” agency: the General Services Administration, which is in charge of federal buildings. By withholding the letter, Murphy is denying Biden’s transition team “millions of dollars, as well as ... access to government officials, office space, and equipment.” A senior administration official told the Post that no agency head would want to signal the start of a presidential transition without Trump publicly announcing his concession first. They also predicted that agency heads wouldn’t be interested in meeting with President-elect Joe Biden before then either.
Biden can still move forward with some aspects of the transition; he can begin securing preliminary security clearances for his team, for example, and request FBI background checks on people he plans to appoint to his cabinet. But the delay could have major consequences for Biden, especially since he plans to assemble a covid task force to immediately and aggressively combat the spread of the virus as soon as he takes office.
“Every day counts in a transition, this year more than any transition since 1932,” David Marchick, the director of the Center for Presidential Transition, told Politico on Sunday.
The election has ended, so please, let’s actually end it and move on—with or without Trump’s formal concession.