In a letter to Joe Biden, General Services Administrator Emily Murphy informed him that certain post-election resources and services would be made available to assist in the event of a transition.
In the letter, Murphy reiterated her independence in determining to do this, asserting she never received any pressure or direction from an Executive Branch official to delay her determination. She did note she had received significant pressure to speed up her determination:
“I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff and even my pets to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.”
She denied media reports that her decision was made out of fear or favoritism. She noted the statute governing this process does not provide and procedures or standards for the process, and her interpretation was that she should ascertain, not impose, the apparent president-elect.
Murphy also stated she does not evaluate legal disputes related to election outcomes. She reserves that role to the election certification process and the courts making determinations based on federal and state election laws as the Constitution prescribes. Because of this delineation, she strongly encouraged Congress to amend the Act to provide reasonable guidelines for a GSA to begin the process or transfer responsibility. As GSA, she is responsible for improving procurement and property management. Not election law.
She noted Biden would have appropriations of $6,300,000 to carry out the provisions of Section 3 Presidential Transition Act and $1,000,000 to begin required training for staff. This includes the appointment of high-level staff members, establishing a transition team, and the ability to guide the federal agencies from the incoming administration regarding anticipated changes.
It does not require that president Trump concede the election, end the legal challenges or begin the more formal and public process we saw when President Trump and outgoing President Obama met in person. You can read the entire communication below:
Here’s the full letter from Murphy to Biden: pic.twitter.com/DJ4SFLzrfP
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) November 23, 2020