Sign it, Murphy: De Blasio urges Trump official to pen letter clearing Biden transition

U.S. General Services Administration Administrator Emily W. Murphy sworn in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney swears in U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily W. Murphy in Washington, U.S. December 5, 2017.
GSA/Handout via REUTERS.

On the heels of the latest failed Trump attempt at overturning Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, Mayor Bill de Blasio implored an once obscure Trump administration official to finally clear the way for the transition of power.

Up until Biden’s declared victory two weeks ago, few had heard of Emily Murphy, administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, an independent agency designed to help facilitate normal government functions. One of the administrator’s duties is to sign off on a letter facilitating the transition between different presidential administrations.

But Murphy, whom President Trump appointed to the post in 2017 and received unanimous Senate confirmation, has yet to sign off on that letter. She’s come under fire for standing in the way of the Biden transition, depriving his team of government funding and access to vital information about day-to-day operations, including intelligence briefings.

On Sunday, de Blasio joined the chorus of Murphy critics in issuing a letter to her calling for the immediate start of the formal presidential transition process.

Biden was declared the winner of the election on Nov. 7, carrying 306 electoral votes and close to 80 million votes nationwide. Trump and his legal team have protested the outcome over baseless voter fraud claims.

De Blasio’s letter came a day after a federal judge threw out the latest Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to overturn the outcome and toss out millions of ballots in Pennsylvania and other swing states.

The Trump campaign has lost 34 such cases since Nov. 3, most of which were based upon conspiracy theories with zero evidence to support their credibility.

De Blasio told Murphy to come into compliance with the Presidential Transition Act and issue the letter recognizing Biden as the president-elect and winner of the 2020 election. 

“The time to act is now. The outcome of the election is more than ascertainable. It is fully knowable,” de Blasio. “Joe Biden has won, and it is in our national interest to aid the transition of power to him and help the American people.”

But it’s not merely about the declaration of victory. De Blasio said any continued delay in the Biden transition will hinder the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and put New York City in danger as it fights the second wave.

“My city knows all too well the importance of robust Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply chains and the life-threatening consequences that emerge when they fail,” de Blasio wrote. “By inhibiting government officials from speaking with the Biden Transition, you make further vulnerable the federal government’s ability to ensure critical PPE is available to doctors, nurses, and first responders.”

The mayor further declared Murphy’s transition inaction as “both galling and un-American,” causing a “baseless delay” that panders only “to those who wish the outcome were different than what it was, and further erodes trust in our public institutions.” 

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