General Service Administration Chief Emily Murphy is looking to the White House for clues to act when it comes to certifying the presidential election for Joe Biden instead of Donald Trump.
And she fears Trump will fire her if she crosses paths with him, a senior administration official told the Washington Post.
President Trump “doesn’t want a transition,” the official said. “He said it very clearly and we are following orders.
Murphy is charged with the “verification” – the official recognition of the winner of the election so that the federal government can initiate the transition process. Without his blessing, Biden’s team does not have access to federal agencies or funds allocated for the transition process.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday denied that anyone in the White House was pressuring Murphy.
“Absolutely not,” she said during her press briefing. “GSA will determine the finding at the right time. There is a constitutional process.
Murphy tells people she feels extreme pressure and suggested that an “check” could be weeks away.
“She wants to see what’s going on with all the states and she’s looking for clues from the White House,” the official told the Post. “She doesn’t want to be disloyal to the administration that hired her.
General Service Administration chief Emily Murphy fears Donald Trump will fire her if she begins transition process for Joe Biden
President Trump challenges election, official says Trump has made it clear he doesn’t want a transition
Murphy would consider several “verification” options – ones that would give him political cover.
These options include:
- Act after states have certified their election results
- After the Electoral College meeting on December 14 – this was the calendar used by the GSA in the 2000 election, although Joe Biden had a much larger margin of victory than the 537 Florida votes that determined the 2000 contest .
- Or she could wait until Congress counts the electoral votes on January 6
Meanwhile, House Democrats are preparing to act on Biden’s behalf if the transition process doesn’t begin soon.
At her weekly press conference on Friday, President Nancy Pelosi was asked whether the House would have an expanded role if Trump continued to derail Biden’s transition.
“Yes,” Pelosi replied. “I’m not the type to show my hand, but nonetheless, we’re ready.
“It is utterly baffling that the GSA refuses to make the declaration necessary for the transition to occur in an orderly fashion,” she noted.
Two powerful House Democrats – House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney and House Supply Chair Nita Lowey – wrote Murphy Thursday night to demand an in-person briefing on the situation and have him warned that her answers would determine whether or not they would transport her to Capitol Hill. for a public hearing.
“We have been extremely patient, but we can’t wait any longer,” wrote Maloney and Lowey.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will not show her hand, but House Democrats are ready to act if the transition process does not begin soon
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Friday the White House was not pressuring the GSA
President Trump continues to call himself the winner of the 2020.
“I won,” he said Friday during a prescription drug price announcement at the White House.
He and his legal team are trying to overturn the election in the battlefield states Biden won, but most of their court challenges have failed. Georgia on Friday afternoon certified its electoral votes for Biden, making him the first Democrat to carry the state since 1992.
Trump praised Murphy – for his work with the veterans.
“Great job Emily! He tweeted on Sunday, retweeting a 10-day-old appeal from Murphy to disabled veterans to seek federal contracts.
Murphy’s friends and allies told CNN that she never thought she would be in such a situation and that she had received death threats.
They also argued that she was not a hard trumper but was loyal to the Republican Party.
“She absolutely feels like she’s in a tough place. She is afraid on many levels. It’s a terrible situation, ”a friend and former colleague of Murphy’s told CNN. “Emily is an accomplished professional, a deeply moral person, but also a very scrupulous lawyer who finds herself in a very difficult position with unclear law and a precedence underlying her position.
They described her as crazy politician and said, although she is a political appointee, she was not a staunch supporter or loyalist of Trump.
“She’s really going to think about both the letter of the law, the guidelines, the explicit guidelines, any precedence, as well as the general intent. It leaves contracts, where it is the whole nature of the job, ”said a former colleague.
Joe Biden said delayed transition process was slowing down his ‘war’ on COVID
Meanwhile, Biden said on Monday that the delayed transition process was slowing down his “war” on COVID.
Biden, in a virtual briefing with frontline healthcare workers, said this is hampering his ability to fight the pandemic, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans.
“It’s like going to war,” he said of the fight against the coronavirus.
“I am optimistic, but we should be further along” in the transition process, he noted.
The president-elect specifically called on the GSA for not allowing the formal transition process to begin – part of a campaign of public pressure he and his team are waging to get Murphy to approve the process.
“One of the issues we’re having right now is the administration’s inability to recognize – the law says the general service administration has a person who recognizes who’s the winner,” Biden said, referring to the power from Murphy to put the wheels on. of change in motion.
“This is the only slowdown we have right now. We have put together, I think, a top notch team that you would all be proud of. And we are all set to do a huge job right now, ”he said.
But, Biden said, the delay means “we haven’t been able to access the types of things we need to be aware of,” including inventory details.
Emily Murphy sworn in as GSA administrator in December 2017
Murphy, who went to University of Virginia Law School and worked for years as a Republican staff member on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch, heads one of the most obscure but more powerful.
“I’m not here to make headlines or make a name for myself,” Murphy said during his Senate confirmation hearing in October 2017. “My goal is to do my part to make the federal government more effective, more efficient and responsive to the American people. “.
She became head of the GSA in December 2017 after the Senate confirmed her, taking over the head of the 12,000-person agency that manages government real estate and its shopping list: The GSA manages all federal buildings and provides supplies for the executive branch.
His duties range from cleaning the west wing of the White House to managing the fleet of 215,000 federal government vehicles to negotiating multi-million dollar contracts.