What does Emily Murphy's GSA letter mean? Has Donald Trump conceded the US election to Joe Biden? - ABC News

 proxy.yoo.workers.dev  11/24/2020 09:41:15 

The US federal agency responsible for the presidential transition process has recognised Joe Biden as the "apparent winner" of the election in a letter.

The letter came from the General Services Administration's Emily Murphy after weeks of delay.

What does the letter do and why is it important? Here are answers to five quick questions.

What is the GSA letter?

The GSA must "ascertain" the winner of the US election to formally begin the transfer of power and allow crucial transition planning to begin.

In today's letter, GSA administrator Emily Murphy made that critical move, declaring Joe Biden as the "apparent winner" of the election.

Ascertainment is a routine administrative process that usually passes without any fanfare.

And it usually happens in short order after the winner of the US election is called by media networks (with rare exceptions, like the 2000 election race that involved a Supreme Court ruling).

But this time around, Ms Murphy's letter came 20 days after the election and 16 days since major US networks announced Mr Biden as the winner.

That is unusual. In fact, Denise Turner Roth, the GSA administrator during the Obama administration, had urged Ms Murphy to declare the winner in a CNN opinion piece published days ago.

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Former GSA administrator Denise Turner Roth has criticised the transition delay.(GSA)

Ascertainment letters can be dull and procedural, but Ms Murphy's mentioned "numerous threats" which she said were made "in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely".

Ms Murphy had been under immense pressure to authorise president-elect Joe Biden, with Republicans, national security experts and business leaders all having called for that process to move forward.

What does the letter actually do?

With the official GSA declaration of Mr Biden as the "apparent" winner, this is what can happen:

How did Trump and Biden react?

Mr Biden's Twitter account simply listed a transition website, buildbackbetter.gov, in a tweet following the announcement.

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The .gov domain is only available to government entities, and the fact that it's at the end of the Biden transition website is more recognition that Joe Biden has won this election.

President Donald Trump continues to baselessly call his race against Joe Biden "the most corrupt election in American political history," and has said he will still pursue court battles in an effort to overturn the election results.

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Meanwhile, the Pentagon has been the first US Government agency to recognise Mr Biden's winafter today's news out of the GSA. Here's the statement:

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Not at all.

This is as close as Mr Trump has gotten to recognising he has lost the US election.

But it's not a concession.

The President made it very clear that he still thinks his legal strategy will overturn the results, and hasn't said anything close to "Joe Biden has won".

But there's nothing stopping Mr Trump from saying whatever he wants about the election, while also clearing the way for the official processes to happen.

What happens now?

Yohannes Abraham, the Biden-Harris transition executive director, said the GSA decision "is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track".

All states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on December 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by December 8.

The Biden team are preparing for a pandemic-modified inauguration on January 20.

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