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GSA agrees to ascertain Biden victory, release transition funds

By Jean Lotus
GSA agrees to ascertain Biden victory, release transition funds
Residents celebrate after several news organizations called the presidential election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles on Saturday, November 7, 2020. Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become 46th president of the United States. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Money from the U.S. government for President-elect Joe Biden's transition team will be released from the General Service Administration, administrator Emily Murphy said Monday.

Biden's team is now entitled to $7.3 million of resources and services available for a presidential transition, Murphy said in a letter released by multiple news sources.

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Biden was declared the winner of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election with 306 electoral votes to President Donald Trump's 232 votes. Biden also won the popular vote by 6 million votes.

The move comes as state election results showing Biden the winner have been certified in battleground states of Michigan and Georgia and as they will soon be certified in Pennsylvania.

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The GSA is an independent federal agency that helps manage and support basic functions of other federal-level agencies and is responsible for making transition resources available to any president-elect.

Unlocking the resources for a president-elect in the past had been part of an administrative routine, but Murphy, a Trump appointee, had stalled the process, facing complaints from both Democrats and Republicans, including a threat of a subpoena to appear before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

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Murphy said her decision to release the GSA funding was made independently without influence from the White House.

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"I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch officials -- including those who work at the White House or GSA -- with regard to the substance or timing of my decision," she wrote.

But President Donald Trump quickly tweeted that he had directed Murphy to begin the process and added that his campaign had not given up the legal challenges to Biden's win.

"Our case strongly continues," Trump said Monday. "We will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same."

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On Monday night, the Department of Defense announced it has received notice of the release of funds and said it contacted Biden's transition team and its designated lead for the department's Agency Review Team.

"The DOD is prepared to provide post-election services and support in a professional, orderly and efficient manner that is befitting of the public's expectation of the department and our commitment to national security," the statement read.

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The Biden team has complained that they have been denied important information to help the president-elect's advisory task force prepare to defeat COVID-19, as well as being denied access to intelligence briefings.

RELATED Biden, Harris to meet Friday with Pelosi, Schumer to talk goals strategy

On Friday, Biden's campaign solicited donations to help fund the transition process itself amid Trump's refusal to concede.

RELATED Trump's purge of defense agencies threatens national security

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