In latest blow to Trump, GSA administrator releases transition funds to Biden

Emily Murphy, the top official in General Services Administration in charge of making millions of dollars in transition funding available to the winner of the presidential election, said Monday that President-elect Joe Biden would receive those funds.

“As the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, I have the ability under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, as amended, to make certain post-election resources and services available to assist in the event of a presidential transition,” Murphy said in a letter sent Monday to Biden. “I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you.”

Murphy, who is tasked with ascertaining the winner of the presidential election, had come under fire from Democrats who accused her of blocking the transition funds out of loyalty to President Trump. Murphy denied those accusations in her letter to Biden.

U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney swears in U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily W. Murphy in Washington, U.S. December 5, 2017. Picture taken December 5, 2017. GSA/Handout via REUTERS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney swears in U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily W. Murphy in Washington, U.S. December 5, 2017. Picture taken December 5, 2017. GSA/Handout via REUTERS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily W. Murphy in Washington, U.S. December 5, 2017. GSA/Handout via REUTERS.

“Contrary to media reports and insinuations, my decision was not made out of fear or favoritism. Instead, I strongly believe that the statue requires that the GSA Administrator ascertain, not impose, the apparent president-elect,” Murphy wrote.

A statement by the Biden campaign welcomed the news.

“The GSA Administrator has ascertained President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are the apparent winner of the election, providing the incoming Administration with the resources and support necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power,” Yohannes Abraham, executive director of the Biden-Harris transition team, said in a statement.

Trump has pursued a legal strategy to try to overturn the will of the voters in key battleground states where Biden was declared the winner, including Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. None of those challenges have so far shown signs of possibly overturning the results of the election.

STERLING, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) golfs at Trump National Golf Club on November 22, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia. The previous day Preisdent Donald Trump left a G20 summit virtual event “Pandemic Preparedness” to visit one of his golf clubs as virus has now killed more than 250,000 Americans. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)STERLING, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) golfs at Trump National Golf Club on November 22, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia. The previous day Preisdent Donald Trump left a G20 summit virtual event “Pandemic Preparedness” to visit one of his golf clubs as virus has now killed more than 250,000 Americans. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump (R) golfs at Trump National Golf Club on November 22, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Murphy said in her letter that she was freeing up $7,300,000 to the Biden campaign to aid in the transition.

On Monday, Michigan joined Georgia in certifying that Biden had won the election, and Pennsylvania is expected to follow soon, pushing him over the 270 electoral vote threshold and further sealing Trump’s defeat.

Biden announced several picks for cabinet positions on Monday. Trump, meanwhile, thanked Murphy and vowed he would yet be reelected.

“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA,” Trump tweeted. “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.”

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