Biden’s Transition Gets a Federal OK as Trump Runs Out of Options

WASHINGTON — The federal government recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, formally starting the transition of ability after President Donald Trump spent weeks testing the boundaries of American democracy. He relented after endure yet more legal and procedural defeats in his seemingly futile effort to overturn the election with baseless claims of fraud.

Trump still refused to concede and vowed to continue to fight in courtroom after General Services Administrator Emily Murphy afforded the green light Monday for Biden to coordinate with federal agencies ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration. But Trump did tweet that he was directing his team to cooperate on the transition.

The fast-moving series of events seemed to let much of the air out of Trump’s frantic efforts to undermine the will of the people in what has amounted to a weekslong stress test for American democracy. But Trump’s attempts to foment a crisis of confidence in the political system and the fairness of U.S. elections haven’t ended and are likely to persist well beyond his lame-duck presidency.

Murphy, explaining her decision, cited” recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”

She acted after Michigan on Monday attested Biden’s victory in the battleground state, and a federal judge in Pennsylvania pitched a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday seeking to prevent certification in that state.

It likewise came as an increasing number of Republicans were publicly recognise Biden’s victory, after weeks of tolerating Trump’s baseless claims of fraud. The chairwoman had grown increasingly frustrated with the flailing tactics of his legal team.

In recent periods, senior Trump aide-de-camps including chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone had also encouraged him to allow the transition to begin, telling the president he didn’t need to concede but could no longer justify withholding support to the Biden transition.

Yohannes Abraham, executive director of the Biden transition, said the decision “is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our commonwealth, including getting the pandemic under control and their own economies back on track.”

Murphy, a Trump appointee, had faced bipartisan criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner, avoiding Biden’s team from working with career agency officials on plans for his administration. The postpone denied Biden access to highly classified national protection information sessions and hampered his team’s ability to begin drawing up its own plans to respond to the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Murphy insisted she acted on her own.

“Please is a well-known fact that I came back my decision independently, based on the law and available realities. 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 period of my decision, ” she wrote in a letter to Biden.

Trump tweeted instants after Murphy’s decision: “We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the common interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and “ve told” my team to do the same.”

Max Stier, chairwoman and CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, blamed the slow but said Biden’s team would be able to overcome it.

“Unfortunately, every day lost to the delayed ascertainment was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare to meet our country’s greatest challenges ,” he said.” The good news is that the president-elect and his squad are the most prepared and best equipped of any incoming administration in recent memory.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the GSA action “is probably the closest thing to a concession that President Trump could issue .” Noting that the commonwealth “faces multiple emergencies that challenge an orderly transition ,” Schumer urged Democrats and Republicans to “unite together for a smooth and peaceful transition that will benefit America.”

Murphy’s action came just 90 times after Michigan election officials certified Biden’s 154,000 -vote victory in the country. The Board of State Canvassers, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, corroborated the research results on a 3-0 poll with one GOP abstention. Trump and his allies had hoped to block the vote to allow time for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump has claimed without evidence that he was the victim of scam. Biden mashed the president by more than 330,000 elections there.

Some Trump friends had expressed hope that country lawmakers could intervene in selecting Republican electors in states that do not certify. That long-shot bid is no longer possible in Michigan.

“The people of Michigan have spoken. President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 referendums, and he is likely to be our next chairperson on January 20 th, ” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said, adding it’s “time to threw such elections behind us.”

Trump was increasingly frustrated by his legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose erratic public performances depicted bipartisan mock in recent weeks. Still, the legal challenges were expected to continue, as Trump seeks to keep his supporters on his side and prevent his options open for opportunities post-presidency.

In Pennsylvania on Saturday, a conservative Republican judge shot down the Trump campaign’s biggest legal exertion in the country with a scathing ruling that questioned why he was supposed to disenfranchise 7 million voters with no evidence to back their land claims and an incompetent legal controversy at best.

But the lawyers still hope to block the state’s certification, promptly appealing to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in Philadelphia, which ordered solicitors to file a brief Monday but did not agree to hear oral arguments.

The campaign, in its filings, asked for urgent consideration so it could challenge the country election results before then there attested next month. If not, they will seek to decertify them, the filings said.

Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.

Pennsylvania county election boards voted Monday, the nation deadline, on whether to certify election results to the Department of State. The committees in two populous counties split along party lines, with majority Democrat in both places voting to certify. After all districts have sent attested makes to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, she must then tabulate, calculate and canvass votes for all races. The statute necessitates her to perform that assignment soon but does not set a specific deadline.

In Wisconsin, a recount in the state’s two largest liberal counties moved into its fourth day, with election officials in Milwaukee County complaining that Trump beholders were slowing down the process with frequent challenges. Trump’s hope of reversing Biden’s victory there depends on disqualifying thousands of absentee ballots — – including the in-person absentee ballot cast by one of Trump’s own campaign attorneys in Dane County.


Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Jonathan Lemire in New York, Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa ., Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta and John Flesher in Traverse City, Mich ., contributed to this report.

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