Trump's GSA Chief Is 'Saboteur Assaulting Democracy' Unless She Allows Biden Transition: Ex-Ethics Czar

Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub has said General Services Administration (GSA) chief Emily Murphy is "assaulting democracy" if she does not sign a crucial letter allowing Joe Biden access to transition resources.

GSA administrator Murphy, nominated to her position by President Donald Trump, has thus far chosen not to approve documentation to facilitate the Democrat's transition process, suggesting the result has not been ascertained despite networks having called it in Biden's favor.

Trump himself said in recent comments that Biden "won the election," though said this was "because the Election was Rigged."

The Quote

Shaub, who headed the Office of Government Ethics between 2013 and 2019, wrote on Twitter:

"Trump admitting that President-elect Biden won strips @GSAEmily of her cover story that the outcome of the election cannot be ascertained. If she continues beyond this morning to withhold transition resources, she will be tacitly admitting she's saboteur assaulting democracy."

In a separate tweet, he added: "It'd be bad enough if Republican leaders failing to condemn Trump & @GSAEmily for withholding transition resources were only an attack on the republic, but it's also an attack on individual Americans who may die or lose loved ones to the pandemic as a result of their malfeasance."

Trump admitting that President-elect Biden won strips @GSAEmily of her cover story that the outcome of the election cannot be ascertained. If she continues beyond this morning to withhold transition resources, she will be tacitly admitting she's saboteur assaulting democracy.

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 15, 2020

Why It Matters

While Biden has been declared president-elect according to network calls, after state calls were deemed to give him an Electoral College win, he has not been officially declared as such.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has refused to concede—insisting there has been foul play.

However, Biden has begun working towards moving into the White House, setting up his transition team and carrying out necessary preparation.

For him to access further federal money and other resources to support this though, he requires sign off from the GSA. This would make resources available under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 available to Biden.

The Counterpoint

The GSA has insisted that an ascertainment on who is the winner has not been made and thus at present no such letter will be signed.

"An ascertainment has not yet been made. GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law," a spokesperson for the GSA previously told Newsweek.

"The GSA Administrator does not pick the winner in the Presidential election."

They also insisted the GSA has met the statutory requirements thus far.

"In accordance with the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (PTA), as amended, the GSA Administrator ascertains the apparent successful candidate once a winner is clear based on the process laid out in the Constitution," they added.

"The Administrator's ascertainment is done for the purposes of making services provided by the PTA available. Until an ascertainment is made, the statute allows for the Biden Transition Team to continue to receive the pre-elect services from the government (e.g., limited office space, computers, background investigations for security clearances).

"GSA has met all statutory requirements under the PTA for this election cycle and will continue to do so."

Official count results are still incoming, with ballots still being tabulated. Meanwhile the Trump campaign has launched several lawsuits looking to throw at certain votes counted, though the extent to which these could alter the outcome has been questioned.

Newsweek has contacted the GSA and Shaub, as well as the Trump and Biden campaigns for further comment.

walter shaub
Walter Shaub speaks at a Nobody Is Above the Law rally protesting President Trump's interference in the Mueller investigation on November 08, 2018 in Washington, DC. He has questioned the GSA for having not signed off access to further transition resources for Joe Biden. Larry French/Getty Images for MoveOn