UPDATE: GSA recognizes president-elect Biden, clearing way for formal transition

Election

WASHINGTON, Wis. (NEXSTAR) – The head of the agency tasked with allocating funds to the presidential transition has reportedly changed course Monday, now recognizing President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory earlier this month, according to multiple media outlets.

General Services Administration Chief Emily Murphy had held off formalizing the transition process after the Trump administration challenged the legitimacy of the general election. After weeks of intensifying pressure, Murphy reportedly wrote to the Biden administration acknowledging the victory late Monday. NewsNation obtained a full version of the document.

“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,” Murphy wrote in the letter to Biden.

Trump tweeted shortly after her letter was made public: “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good… 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.”

The move came as Murphy faced growing accusations of partisanship for refusing to acknowledge the electoral college win.

Earlier, more than 160 business leaders had asked 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.

AP source: US agency allows formal Biden transition to begin

Monday 11/23/2020 5:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The General Services Administration has ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from President Donald Trump’s administration.

An official said Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, most recently in Michigan, which certified Biden’s victory Monday.

The move clears the way for Biden aides to begin coordinating with federal agencies on plans for takeover on Jan. 20.

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