DOD holding on Biden transition

By Tony Bertuca / November 9, 2020 at 9:23 AM

The Defense Department has had no contact with the Biden transition team and will not until the Government Services Administration greenlights the process, according to a Pentagon official.

At present, the results of the election are still being disputed by President Trump and the GSA has not yet signed the paperwork necessary to begin the process to transition to President-elect Joe Biden's new administration.

"DOD is following statutory direction for supporting a potential presidential transition directly in accordance with the President Transition Act," the Pentagon official said. "The Act requires ascertainment of the candidate to receive transition assistance by the administrator of GSA. That has not occurred and is not a DOD responsibility. . . . DOD has had no contact with transition teams from either campaign and will not until notified by the GSA Administrator."

The GSA order would officially approve millions of dollars to begin the transition process and allow government officials to begin coordinating with the Biden team.

Though Biden has declared victory and the race has been called by multiple media outlets, Trump and his surrogates continue to claim without evidence that the race was stolen. Trump's lawyers say they intend to take further legal action, though previous efforts have failed in court.

Meanwhile, the Electoral College is scheduled to formally vote Dec. 14. Biden is slated to be inaugurated as the 46th U.S. president on Jan. 20.

Trump further plunged the process into uncertainty today when he announced via tweet that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller.

Prior to the election, the Pentagon established a presidential transition website that would coordinate with the winner's team.

The process, whenever it begins, is slated to be run by Jen Stewart, Esper's chief of staff, "with the goal for the most effective and seamless transition possible," the website states.