US presidential election: A turbulent transfer of power

The Takeaway


Peaceful. Transfer of power is a cornerstone of american democracy. Right now president. Trump is not only refusing to concede this election. He's also denying the incoming biden administration access to key documents funding information. They need to ensure a safe and smooth transition now. The formal transition process is actually a pretty new thing. Congress passed the presidential transition act just over fifty years ago. Em things proceeded from there with relatively little drama or problems until two thousand versus the mission of george. Bush is not up for me to accept or reject the legal process. You know. let's just watch this happen. It'll be over soon. We'll be ready for transition. It wasn't until weeks after that. Bill clinton cabinet meeting december twelve thirty five days after the election that george w bush was officially declared the winner that gave then president elect bush just over a month to plan for and staff his administration course nine months later the september eleventh terrorist attacks happened catching the nation and a relatively new president off guard when the nine eleven commission report came out in two thousand four. It pointed to this truncated transition as a weakness and recommended a more formalized process katherine dunn tempests at senior fellow at the university of virginia's miller center the senior research director at the white house transition project so laws were passed in the two thousands or spin sort of three sets of laws that have been passed to kinda they keep refining it and keep refining it but what they did primarily is that they enable the winning candidates to receive funding to start their transitions after they were formerly so that meant that once biden was the democratic nominee. He was eight. He was provided with all space some funding for salaries and the ability to start planning ahead. Talked to us a little bit. About how worried you are or how worried we should be as americans about this as you pointed out the attacks on nine eleven happened not that long after president bush took office. If something happens january or february of this coming year would the biden administration be potentially a unable to respond because they just simply didn't have the staffing and they didn't have the time to ramp up and be ready. Let me back up. Just a bit to point out that There are basically two important phases of the transition. The i i pointed out was after the nominee has been formally nominated by the party and they received some resources the next big transfer resources comes after the head of the gsa has ascertained the next president united states and they use that verbiage. Esser that verb. I'm not really sure why but And that's the point at which the president the incoming president can start to have access to classified material that can start to be part of the president's daily brief with Tells them all the national security issues. It enables the biden transition team to have access to all of these individuals civil servants and political appointees at the various agencies so that they can interview them. So what's happening now. Is they are preventing the biden from moving to the next phase. And what i would argue is the most important phase at the transition. It's critically important that the biden staff members be able to go to the department of justice francis and to be able to interview. Fbi director the head of the criminal division the head of the national security division to try to get a sense since of. What's the lay of the land where the priorities. What are the crises. That might be boiling over by the time we get here. And that's what they're being denied so. I think there should be a lot of concern about this. The the inability to advance to the next stage of the transition. It's not to say that it's going to necessarily result in some sort of crises that but we want a country that's prepared so it strikes me as were basically just sort of harming ourselves for no apparent reason and were inhibiting our ability to be in the best possible situation. We can be on january twentieth. And there's no reason for that. We have the resources we have the capacity. So why so. Let's talk about the. Why and and the who so. Emily murphy is a name that most of us probably weren't familiar with until now she is a person who is at the head of the. Gsa can you talk a little bit about how her role what her role is. And how much leeway. She has to continue to refuse to release these funds or to allow the biden team to start integrating with the outgoing trump administration. So emily murphy is the administrator of the gsa. It's a political appointment in the gsa. It's office is largely responsible for all the government real estate so they helped provide office space and oversee office space You know in in most situations would never even hear of the essay in this particular case because the legislation housed it in the gsa. She has the capacity to release the funding and the resources to the party. Nominees and then eventually to the president-elect by law she is the one that has to ascertain the election so there will be no funding going out until she does it. So what's tying our hands. I mean she is a by president trump. She must be a republican. Who has some loyalty to this administration and is unwilling to buck the advice. She's getting probably for mark meadows. Probably the chief-of-staff sues weighing on her.

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