“Please know that I came to my conclusion independently based on the law and the facts available,” Murphy wrote. “I have not been directly or indirectly pressured by any executive branch official, including those working in the White House or the GSA, regarding the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I have no direction to delay.”
This letter marks Murphy’s formal signature on Biden’s victory, a process that usually does not work. This will allow the move to officially launch, allow current management executives to coordinate with the incoming Biden Group, and provide millions of government funding for the change.
The Biden team will now have access to additional office space within the agencies and will have the ability to use federal resources for background checks on Biden’s White House staff appointments and cabinet selections.
Johannes Abraham, managing director of Biden’s Transformation, said the beginning of the transition was “a necessary step in tackling the challenges facing our country, including controlling the epidemic and getting our economy back on track.”
“This final decision is a definite administrative step to begin the process of change systematically with the federal systems,” Abraham said. “In the coming days, interim officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the epidemic, to fully account for our national security interests, and to gain a full understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to oust government agencies.”
This is the latest sign that Trump’s conspiratorial legal attempt, led by Rudy Giuliani, to end the election. Cases of delaying Trump campaign election certification have been dismissed in several states because his legal team failed to provide any evidence of widespread voter fraud.
But until now, despite Biden’s clear success, Murphy has refused to move forward with the confirmation process. Trump-appointed Murphy has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats, who in recent days have called on Republicans to begin a smooth transition. In a statement Monday, Sen. Ohio Republican said. Rob Portman said “there is now no evidence of any widespread fraud or malpractice that could change the outcome in any state” and that the change process should begin.
In the letter, Murphy suggested that the confirmation rules were unclear and needed to be updated.
“The GSA does not mandate the consequences of legal conflicts and reconsiderations, nor does it determine whether such actions are justified or justified,” he wrote. “These leave the Constitution, federal laws and state laws to the decisions of the courts of electoral certification process and competent jurisdiction. I do not think a company accused of improving federal procurement and asset management should be constitutionally superior to itself. I urge Congress to consider amendments to the law.”
Trump tweeted minutes after the letter was announced, thanking Murphy for his work and confirming his decision to initiate change.
“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her firm commitment and loyalty to our country. She was persecuted, intimidated, abused – and I do not want this to happen to her, her family or GSA staff. I believe so! ”Trump tweeted. “Nevertheless, for the best good of our country, I recommend that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to early ethics, and I have told my team to do the same.”
Two Trump advisers said those in his orbit were basically reading the president’s tweets as a privilege.
“It is a covert attempt to justify continuous fundraising demands,” the second adviser said.
The Public Service Administration informed federal departments on Monday night that CNN had received an email claiming that Biden had been declared the winner of the presidential election.
“As amended by the Presidential Change Act of 1963, today, November 23, 2020, GSA Administrator Joseph R. Biden and Senator Kamala Harris have identified successful candidates for the positions of President and Vice President, respectively.” Wrote.
A senior White House official said some staff were initially detained by the GSA letter, CNN reported. But the official said staff would begin cooperating with the Biden change team, and they would look for more information on the next phase of action.
Two weeks after the election was called for Biden, Murphy remained silent, sparking public pressure from Democrats in Congress and Biden, warning that the delay would be fatal due to the Govt-19 epidemic.
Democrats on Tuesday demanded a request from Murphy to explain his decision, and next week rejected a GSA proposal for his deputy to Congress. Democrat leaders sent new letters to Murphy on Tuesday urging him to allow the change to begin and to warn of the consequences of failing to do so.
The story was updated with an additional statement on Monday.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistyped the name of Mary Gibert.
CNN’s Jeff Jelani, Jeremy Diamond, Jim Acosta and Arlett Sense contributed to the report.