United States President-elect Joe Biden has been formally given the go-ahead by a federal agency to begin his transition to the presidency.
With the rapid-fire developments on Monday, President Donald Trump’s already languishing efforts to overturn his November 3 defeat appeared to be coming to a close.
The US General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency, ascertained that Biden was the “apparent winner” of the election and informed Biden that his transition – leading up to a January 20 swearing-in – could officially begin.
GSA Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump’s efforts to challenge the vote failed across battleground states, citing “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results”.
Michigan certified Biden’s victory Monday, and a federal judge in Pennsylvania moved on Saturday to throw out a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to prevent certification in that state.
Murphy, a Trump appointee, has faced bipartisan criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner, preventing Biden’s team from working with agency officials on plans for his administration, including in critical national security and public health areas.
“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official – including those who work at the White House or GSA – with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden.