December 9, 2020
Donald Trump Is Allegedly Sending Officials To Monitor Joe Biden's Transition Meetings

A Tuesday report from The New York Times spotlights the claims of federal officials who say that Donald Trump loyalists have been monitoring discussions between Joe Biden's transition teams and career civil servants.

"Presidential transition experts said the presence of political officials at agency handoff meetings was not unheard-of and could even be seen as helpful," the publication noted.

The news outlet highlighted that Barack Obama and George W. Bush's teams worked "closely" in 2008. But it suggested that Trump's refusal to concede creates a different dynamic. According to the publication, some experts believe that the president's monitoring is part of a "pernicious effort to slow the transition."

Michael E. Herz, a professor of administrative law at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, said that "political people" are typically not involved in the key parts of the transition. The academic argued that the recent monitoring by the Trump administration is an attempt to use the last of its power to hinder the transition as much as possible.

Federal employees who spoke to The New York Times anonymously gave mixed reactions to the presence of Trump staffers in Biden's transition meetings.

"Federal employees who discussed the transition and asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the process offered mixed reviews on the presence of political leaders," the outlet reported.

"Several said they felt the Trump officials were implicitly intimidating employees from speaking openly about issues awaiting the new administration. Others described the meetings as merely awkward."

Donald Trump is photographed standing next to a door.
Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

Trump's refusal to concede the election has drawn criticism from across the ideological spectrum. Ann Brenoff, a senior writer and editor for HuffPost, suggested that the head of state would rather let Americans die than cede power to his Democratic opponent. Elsewhere, CBS News reported that a growing number of Republicans are pressuring Trump to concede.

After weeks of refusing to sign off on Biden's transition, Emily W. Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, eventually signed off on the beginning of the procedure last month. According to The New York Times, the decision notably opened up government funds for Biden's advisers to begin coordinating with Trump's team and marked the beginning of the formal transition process.

Trump took to Twitter to claim that he ordered his allies to end the stand-off and supported Murphy's decision, which he likened to the start of "[preliminary] work with the Dems" as opposed to an end to his battle against the results of the 2020 election.