Three weeks after the presidential election won by Joe Biden, outgoing President Donald Trump on Monday lifted the blockade in which he had installed his government and authorized the start of the transfer of power to the Democrats.
Although he still does not openly recognize Biden’s victory, denouncing without evidence a fraud against him, the green light to the transition is the closest Trump has been to the concession in the last three weeks.
With this half-hearted recognition came certification by the General Services Administration (GSA) of Biden’s apparent victory, a necessary step to begin the transition, and the President-elect’s announcement that meetings with Trump officials will begin shortly.
TRUMP ALMOST THROWS IN THE TOWEL
“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her unwavering dedication and loyalty to our country. She has been harassed, threatened and abused – and I don’t want to see this happen to her, her family or GSA employees. Our case remains STRONG, we will continue the good fight and I believe we will prevail,” tweeted Trump.
However,” he continued, “in the best interests of our country, I recommend that Emily and her team do what they need to do regarding the initial protocols, and I have told my team to do the same.
With these tweets, Trump seemed to throw in the towel after three weeks of non-admission of defeat, blockade, propagation of conspiracy theories, fruitless legal battle, and even trickery to alter the outcome.
THE TRANSITION BEGINS
Parallel to the president’s messages, the letter that Murphy sent to Biden to inform him of the formal start of the transition process became known, which has to avoid a feared chaotic transfer of power.
“I take this job seriously and, given recent events involving legal issues and certification of election results, I am forwarding this letter to you today to make those resources and services available to you,” Murphy said in the letter to Biden.
“To be clear,” he added, “I received no instructions to delay my decision. However, I did receive threats online, on the phone, and in the mail against my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to stall and cause me to make this decision prematurely.
The Democratic transition team will now be able to access financial resources to fund itself ($7.3 million), as well as intelligence information and access to Trump officials for portfolio exchanges.
Biden responded to both announcements with one of his own: he will send his team to begin meetings with Trump officials in the coming days.
THE BIDEN TEAM
“In the coming days, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the response to the pandemic, to have a full explanation of our national security interests,” Biden’s transition team executive director, Yohannes Abraham, said in a statement.
The Democratic official also said that in those meetings they will seek to “gain a full understanding of the Trump Administration’s efforts to empty government agencies.
Abraham noted that the GSA’s decision “provides the incoming administration with the resources and support necessary to effect a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.
“Today’s decision is a necessary step to begin addressing the challenges facing our nation, including controlling the pandemic and recovering our economy. This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with Federal agencies,” he emphasized.
Despite lacking the government’s resources to work on the transition of power thus far, Biden’s team had already begun to develop its own strategy for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and to form its future Cabinet with several appointments.
This same Monday, he announced Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the UN, and former Secretary John Kerry as Presidential Climate Envoy.
In addition, the appointment of former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Janet Yellen as the future Secretary of the Treasury is taken for granted.