Trump administration approves start of formal changes to Biden

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s government voted for the presidential election on Monday by Joseph R. Authorized Biden Jr. Michigan began a formal change process after certifying Mr. Biden as its winner, a strong indication that the president made a final bid to reverse the election results. The end was coming.

Mr. Trump did not accept, and vowed to keep up with efforts to divert the vote, which has so far proved useless. But the president said on Twitter on Monday night that he accepted the decision of General Services Administration Administrator Emily W. Murphy to allow the transition to proceed.

In your tweet, Mr Trump said he told his officials to initiate a “preliminary protocol” to engage Mr Biden “in the best interests of our country” even though he had spent Weeks to try for a free and fair election With false claims of fraud. Hours later, he tried to minimize the importance of Ms. Murphy’s action, tweeting It was only “working with the Dems” that could not stop efforts to change the election results.

Nevertheless, Ms. Burden’s designation as a clear victory for Mr. Biden provides federal funds and resources to the incoming administration and clears the way for presidential-election advisors to coordinate with Trump administration officials.

Ms. Murphy’s decision came after several additional senior Republican lawmakers, as well as prominent figures in business and world affairs, condemned the delay in allowing a peaceful transfer of power, with Mr. Biden and his top aides Said that national security was threatened And the ability to effectively plan incoming administrations to combat coronovirus epidemics.

And it followed a major court ruling in Pennsylvania, where the state’s supreme court on Monday ruled against the Trump campaign and the president’s Republican allies, stating that about 8,000 ballots were counted with signature or date irregularities. needed.

In Michigan, a statewide canvassing board, with two Republicans and two Democrats, voted 3 to 0 to approve the result, leaving one Republican. It officially provided Mr. Biden a major battleground that Mr. Trump had turned away from Democrats four years earlier, and reprimanded the president’s legal and political efforts to reverse the results.

As of Monday evening, as Mr. Biden moved on He plans to fill the cabinet, Wider areas of the nation had given a blunt message to a defeated president: his campaign to stay in the White House and make him aware of the election, unreal from the start, was nearing the end.

Ms. Murphy said she made her decision Monday because of “legal challenges and developments involving election results certificates,” referring to the nearly unbroken string of vote authorization and court rulings by election officials in Michigan, Who has rejected Sh. Trump’s Challenges in Many States.

In a statement, Mr. Biden’s executive director of transition, Yohanas Abraham, said that Ms. Murphy’s decision was “a necessary step to meet the challenges facing our country.”

He said Mr. Biden’s aides would soon begin meeting with Trump administration officials “to discuss the response to the epidemic, keep a full account of our national security interests, and to hollow out government agencies of the Trump administration.” Will gain a full understanding of the efforts. “

Mr. Trump was opposed to any move toward the transition. But in conversations in recent times that intensified on Monday morning, top assistants – including Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff; Pat A. Cipollon, White House lawyer; And the president’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow – called the president necessary to begin the transition. According to the discussions of many people, they did not need to say the word “guess”.

Mr. Trump by Rudolph W. The opinion continued to be received from colleagues including Giuliani, who told them there were still legal avenues to pursue, people said.

Some advisors drafted a statement to be released to the President. In the end, Mr. Trump did not single out either, but aides said that the tone was similar to his tweet in the evening, in which he appeared to take credit for Ms. Murphy’s decision to allow the transition to begin.

“Our case continues, we will continue the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” She wrote. “Nonetheless, in the best interests of our country, I am recommending what Emily and her team do regarding the initial protocol, and my team needs to do the same.”

In a letter to Mr. Biden, first reported by CNN, Ms. Murphy retaliated to Mr. Trump’s assertion that he had directed her to decide that, “I am independently of the law and available facts Came to its decision on the basis of. “He said that he was” directly or indirectly pressured by any executive branch official – including those working in the White House or GSA “

“I do not think that an agency charged with improving federal procurement and property management should be above the constitutionally based election process,” he defended his delay by stating that he was not ahead of the constitutional process of counting Wanted to grow Vote and elect a president.

His letter was not made to protest Mr. Trump and his supporters. In it, he did not describe Mr. Biden as president-elect, as he said the transition could begin.

A colleague with knowledge of Ms. Murphy’s thinking said that she always anticipated signing the transition but needed a sensitive argument to do so in the absence of a concession from Mr. Trump; Recent pro-Biden events in Michigan and Pennsylvania, as well as Georgia, which certified Mr. Biden’s victory last Friday, provided a clear justification for the move.

The decision was a part of programs running for the past several days that signaled the end of Mr. Trump’s efforts to oppose the will of voters.

The large county in Pennsylvania was formalizing Mr. Biden’s victory in the state. And in a big break with the president, General Motors announced It will no longer back the administration’s efforts to end California’s fuel economy regulations.

On Capitol Hill, most of Mr. Trump’s Republican allies had stood by his side for the past two weeks as they tried to reverse Mr. Biden’s victory. But on Monday, some of the Senate’s most senior Republicans swiftly urged Ms. Murphy to allow the transition to proceed.

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is retiring, issued his second call in recent days for a quick transition.

“Since it seems clear that Joe Biden will be president-elect, my hope is that President Trump will be proud of his substantial accomplishments, place the country in the first place and make a quick and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed , “Said Mr. Alexander, a close friend of Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican and majority leader from Kentucky. “When you’re in public life, people remember the last thing you did.”

Earlier in the day, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, both Republicans, issued a breaking statement from Mr. Trump and began calling for Mr. Biden to receive a coronovirus and national security briefing.

“At some point, the 2020 election must end,” Ms. Capito said.

The pressure on Mr. Trump was beyond the political arena. more than 100 business leaders Sent a letter to the administration on Monday, asking for a transition facility, and A. Republican National Security Experts Group Demanded Republican members of Congress that Mr. Trump win.

One of the president’s staunch supporters, Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone, did not sign the business leaders’ letter, but said in a statement that “the outcome today is very definite and the country must move forward.”

But the most dramatic evidence of Mr. Trump’s efforts to challenge the election came Monday in Michigan, where speculation about the state’s vote’s certification ended with a 3-0 vote by the canvassing board. This came after several hours of comments from local clerks, elected officials and the public, most of whom said the board’s only legal role was to certify the results of the election, not to audit them.

As the meeting wore on, it became clear that Aaron Van Langveld, a Republican member of the canvassing board, was leaning toward certifying. He asked several times whether the board had the legal authority to do anything else.

“There is nothing in the law that gives me the right to request an audit,” he said. “I think the law is on my side. We have no authority to request an audit or to delay or block authentication. “

The other Republican on the board, Norm Shinkle, survived the vote.

The Democratic Secretary of State in Michigan, Jokelyn Benson, said in a statement that “democracy” has prevailed against an unprecedented attack on integrity. ” He said the state would now initiate procedures, including a risk-limited audit, to advance the integrity of the election.

Another important swing state, Pennsylvania, also headed to cement results on Monday, with several counties certifying the vote count, despite some scattered attempts by local Republicans to halt the process. Mr. Biden won Pennsylvania by nearly 80,000 votes.

In Allegheny County, the state’s second-largest county and home to Pittsburgh, the county board voted 2 to 1 to certify the results. And in Philadelphia, the largest county, city commissioners on Monday night certified the results after the state’s Supreme Court rejected a Republican request to disqualify 8,000 absentee ballots.

Pennsylvania law dictates that counties must certify their votes by the third Monday after the election, but there is no actual penalty for missing the deadline.

The statewide results will not be officially certified until all counties are reported, after which the process will go to Secretary of State Kathy Bokover and then to the government Tom Tom Wolf to award final signatures and electors. Both officials are Democrats.

Despite the counties’ certificates on Monday, the Trump campaign filed an emergency appeal for the US Circuit of the Third Circuit to block statewide certification.

Nevertheless, the legal challenges of the Trump campaign, led by Mr. Giuliani, were so unsuccessfully and widely mocked that the president acknowledged to advisers that the former mayor of New York City had become a spectacle.

By the end of Monday, Mr. Biden’s team had already made its move towards a more formal transition, advancing its website, buildbackbetter.comMs. Murphy’s decision was made possible in her new home on a government server:

Michael D. Shear from Washington, Maggie Haberman and Nick Corsniti from New York, and Jim Ruttenberg from Montac, NY Kathleen Gray reporting from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., And Nicholas Fandos and Amy Cochrane contributed from Washington.

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