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The Official Who’s Been Blocking Biden’s Transition Process Finally Changed Her Mind, But People Are Still Angry With Her

It took four days after Election Day for the 2020 presidential race to be called for Joe Biden, but it’s taken far longer than that for the transition process to formally begin. One reason for that: A key Donald Trump appointee, Emily Murphy, administrator for the General Services Administration, had refused to sign a letter allowing Biden’s team, among other things, access to federal authorities and transition funds. It took over two weeks, but on Monday Murphy finally changed her mind. That didn’t mean people had changed their minds about her.

In a letter sent to Biden, Murphy tried to shoot down charges that she was a partisan, looking out for the man who appointed her. “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” Murphy wrote. “I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official—including those who work at the White House or GSA—with regard to the substance or timing of my decision.”

She also spoke a lot about herself, saying that she’d been the target of harassment and 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.”

The letter came at the end of a tumultuous day. Murphy was supposed to appear before Congress, who had called on her to explain why she was dragging her feet on ascertaining Biden as the President-Elect. She didn’t show up. She did send word that she’d send an underling on her behalf, but not till next Monday. The Democrats threatened to subpoena her, but it only took a couple hours for Murphy’s conciliatory letter to surface.

The news was met with celebration.

But it was also met with exasperation. After all, this should have happened much, much earlier.

A lot of people didn’t praise Murphy for doing the right thing. They admonished her for dragging her feet.

And for whining.

Some wondered if the about-face came because Murphy was terrified to be grilled by the famously interrogative California representative Katie Porter.

Others noted that Murphy never once referred to Biden as President-Elect.

Although, some thought, that was pretty clearly intentional.

Grammarians, meanwhile, chastised her habit of using two spaces after a comma when one should suffice.

Others suggested the rules of the land should be changed so a transition can’t be held up by a single bureaucrat.

And there were jokes.

Some pointed out that Murphy’s letter is the closest we’re going to get to a Trump concession.

But then, not long after Murphy’s letter was made public, Trump himself weighed in, with a semi-concession (that’s still not an actual concession).

“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,” Trump wrote at the end of a two-tweet drop in which, in much less formal or conciliatory language, he said he and his legal team will continue to assert voter fraud.

The outgoing president’s tweet, of course, contradicts Murphy’s claim that she acted independently.

And though we’re bound to get at least a couple more klutzy Giuliani press conferences in which he baselessly asserts voter fraud while melting, let’s not lose track of the big takeaway here: Trump has to start packing his bags.

(Via USA Today)

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