After weeks of scandal and delays, the General Services Administration announced late Monday it has informed President-elect Joe Biden the official governmental transition process has been approved and can go ahead as planned.
With the approval, Biden’s transition team will now have access to millions of dollars in federal funds and other resources as he begins his transition to taking office in January. GSA Administrator Emily Murphy confirmed the news in a letter but denied she had been under pressure from the White House to delay the process.
“I have dedicated much of my adult life to public service, and I have always strived to do what is right,” she said. “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. 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.”
In the latter, she referred to Biden as the “apparent president-elect”, making it the first time that the Trump administration has acknowledged that President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.
In a pair of tweets, Mr. Trump promised to continue his long-shot legal fight to try and overturn the results of the election.
The transition had been on hold for weeks as Mr. Trump’s legal team waged battles in key states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona to overturn the state results, which left Biden’s team missing key information on the Covid-19 vaccine and other key issues.
Yohannes Abraham, Biden’s transition adviser, released a statement on the news, calling the decision a “definitive” one.
“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,” Abraham said. “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 a complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”