Trump’s Involuntary Transition of Power

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Questions Answered in this Post:

Source: The New York Times

How is Trump reacting to Biden’s victory?

Throughout the history of the United States, the transition from the incumbent president to the new president-elect has been a relatively simple process. The incumbent president simply offers well wishes or words of wisdom to the president-elect, and the administrations begin the concession of the cabinet, government materials and facilities, and government power from one to the other. Even in what may be considered some of the more muddled transitions in American history, there has never been a transition of power quite like the one that the incumbent President Trump has been executing. Despite the vote discernibly indicating Trump’s loss in the election, he, along with a myriad of his cabinet members, refuses to accept this conclusion. Thus, he began to work to prevent indications that his democratic opponent, Joe Biden, had won.

As the mail-in votes were finally being counted and the election began to conclude, Biden pulled ahead and was confirmed to be the next president of the United States. However, Trump determined that this sudden triumph seemed suspicious and accused democratic voters of participating in illegal voter fraud. As a result, he filed dozens of lawsuits claiming that there had been votes counted in the election of citizens who were dead, had voted multiple times, or were undocumented as American citizens. Despite over fifty lawsuits throughout several states, none of Trump’s attempts at proving voter fraud amongst the democratic party were fruitful.

Who inhibited Biden’s team from transition on time?

Source: The Atlantic

Following the election, despite the vote indicating Biden’s victory, Trump’s administration still refused to allow Biden’s administration to transition in. The administrator of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, refused to sign the official letter that would enable Biden’s team to begin its work in transitioning into office. She claimed that this was because she did not want to be hasty in making changes before the final election, despite proper protocol for her to allow the newly elected administration to begin the transition process promptly to allow for proper preparation and coordination of the new team. It was a full three weeks after the election when the General Services Administration finally began the transition process for Biden. However, even then, Trump claimed that he would still not concede from his position as president. 

Will Trump’s team ever yield to the transition?

At last, as of December 14th, 2020, Joe Biden was officially designated as the victor of the 2020 Presidential election. The General Services Administration began to fully open Biden’s team to government resources and facilities to properly coordinate their transition into office. In the time preceding this action, several of Trump’s senior Republican senators began to advocate for them to yield to the transition in light of the delay posing a threat to national security in the time of a growing pandemic. However, Murphy claimed that this decision was made due to “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results”. With just weeks remaining until Biden’s official inauguration, his team has been working hard to settle into their positions following these setbacks in the process. Since then, as of January 9th, Trump has at least conceded to the transition and Biden’s team is in full transition.


  • Trump has refused to accept the outcome of the election, filing dozens of lawsuits on the ground of democratic voter fraud, all of which have been tried in vain.
  • Emily Murphy, the administrator of the GSA, has also refused to allow Biden’s team to transition.
  • For weeks Murphy and Trump’s team denied access to Biden’s administration, until mid-December when they were finally allowed access to their full transition facilities.


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