November 25, 2020 | From The Washington Times
A key Trump administration official on Monday agreed to cooperate with presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden on the transition, acknowledging for the first time — with President Trump’s approval — that the Democrat is likely to assume the White House in January.
More than two weeks after Mr. Biden was projected as the winner by media organizations, Mr. Trump said he advised General Services Administration head Emily W. Murphy and her team “to do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols.” . . .
The action came as Michigan certified Mr. Biden’s win in that state, delivering a huge blow to Mr. Trump’s dwindling prospects for overturning the election through his claims of widespread fraud. . . .
“The presidential election is rapidly coming to a formal end,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican. He urged Mr. Trump to “put the country first.”
Ms. Murphy offered the transition services to Mr. Biden in a letter citing the Trump campaign’s losses in legal challenges, and states’ certification of election results, as clearing the way for the transition. . . .
Ms. Murphy, who had resisted Mr. Biden’s increasingly urgent pleas to allow his team access to certain government funds and materials, stopped short of declaring Mr. Biden the winner of the bitterly contested election. She said the winner “will be determined by the electoral process detailed in the Constitution.”
A Biden campaign official called it “a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track.”
Without court rulings to overturn the results in Pennsylvania and at least two other states, Mr. Trump’s path to a second term will officially be ended.
The Trump campaign had launched legal battles in Michigan and Pennsylvania to delay certification of the election, and the president’s hopes in court are still alive.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Monday to hear an appeal of the campaign’s complaint of Pennsylvania’s unequal rules in Democratic and Republican counties for correcting errors on mail-in ballots. The Trump campaign also alleges that GOP poll watchers were prevented from monitoring ballot counting in Democratic cities.
Nearly all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties were expected to finalize their election results before midnight on Monday, clearing the way for Democratic Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar to certify Mr. Biden’s win. . . .
In Michigan, the state board of canvassers voted 3-0 to certify the election results on Monday over the objections from Republican allies of Mr. Trump in the state and in Washington, who argued that accusations of election fraud in heavily Democratic Detroit should be investigated first. Mr. Biden won Michigan by about 150,000 votes.
Republican board member Aaron Van Langevelde joined the panel’s two Democrats in voting to certify, saying that state law left them with no choice.
“We’ve got a duty to do this,” Mr. Van Langevelde said. Republican board member Norman Shinkle abstained.
The usually obscure board found itself under intense scrutiny for a vote that is essentially a rubber-stamp of election results from all counties. But with two Republicans and two Democrats comprising the board, a tie vote would have delayed certification and possibly have thrown the selection of presidential electors to the Republican-controlled legislature.
The Republican National Committee and the Michigan GOP asked the state to delay certification, pointing to reported voting irregularities in Detroit.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the board had to decide “whether to ignore that in a stunning 71% of Wayne County absentee voting precincts, the number of people who signed the poll books did not equal the number of votes counted.”
An elections official in the Democratic stronghold, which backed Mr. Biden over Mr. Trump by 68% to 31%, said the precincts were “out of balance” countywide by just a few hundred votes out of 878,000 ballots cast. . . .
The board also voted unanimously to request a review of Michigan’s election process by the legislature. Republican state Senate Majority leader Mike Shirkey, who had met with Mr. Trump at the White House late last week, said the state will do so.
Republican lawmakers in Washington increasingly were calling on Mr. Trump to cooperate with Mr. Biden on the transition, citing national security and the pandemic that is surging again in many communities.
“Donald Trump is our president until Jan. 20, 2021, but in the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless and that America is ready on Day One of a new administration for the challenges we face,” Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, wrote in The Cincinnati Enquirer. . . .
Ms. Murphy said she wasn’t pressured to delay the transition but was the victim of “threats” to begin it.
“To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination. I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely,” she said.
“Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.”
(Excerpt from The Washington Times. Article by Dave Boyer. Photo Credit: Dreamstime.)