Biden team considers suing over delay in recognition by federal agency — and hold-up of funds and intelligence

Government agency still considering Democrat’s election win amid legal threats from Donald Trump

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 10 November 2020 10:21 GMT
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Joe Biden’s presidential transition team could take legal action against a federal government agency's failure to recognise his election win last week.

A Biden transition official argued on Monday that the General Services Administration’s (GSA) failure to officially recognise the Democrat’s election win was now delaying preperations on the changeover of power in the White House.

The GSA, an independent agency of the United States government, must formally recognises election winners to allows a president-elect to start work on the transition.

 Mr Biden has still not been recognised as president-elect by the GSA despite him being declared the winner of last week’s election. It comes as Donald Trump attempts to launch legal action in several states over baseless allegations of voter fraud.

 The absence of recognition means Mr Biden, who is due to take over as president in January, is unable to access federal funds that would pay for salaries, consultants and travel, as well as access to classified information, the official said.

The Biden team is also unable to meet with current government officials, including those in intelligence.

"Legal action is certainly a possibility, but there are other options as well that we're considering," the unnamed official told Reuters.

They added the transition team had no access to the State Department, which usually facilitates calls between foreign leaders and the president-elect.

While no law states when the GSA should act on an election outcome, Biden transition officials believe the current delay is without reason.

Despite president Donald Trump’s refusal to concede defeat to the Democrat, there is no indication of widespread “fraud”, as he has repeatedly alleged without basis.

Emily Murphy, who Mr Trump appointed as GSA administrator in 2017, is still be considering a decision, a spokesperson said.

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