Intelligence officials aren’t in contact with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s transition team because the General Services Administration (GSA) hasn’t made a final assessment of the 2020 election.
“ODNI follows the statutory direction provided in the Presidential Transition Act, which requires ascertainment of the candidate by the administrator of GSA prior to supporting a potential presidential transition. ODNI would not have contact with any transition team until notified by the GSA Administrator,” Michael Kaplun, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
The GSA told The Epoch Times earlier this week that the administration hasn’t yet made an “ascertainment” of the election.
The agency said that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy will only initiate the transition when a “clear winner is clear, based on the process laid out in the Constitution.”
The Presidential Transition Act (PTA) was passed by Congress in 1962 to facilitate an orderly transfer of power. It authorized the administrator to provide, upon request, to each president-elect and each vice president-elect services and facilities for use in preparing to assume their official duties, such as office space and payment for travel and office staff members.
The transition period begins when the administrator ascertains the apparent winners of the election, typically the day following the election, and ends 30 days after inauguration. According to a 2016 memo from the Obama administration, the transition includes briefings such as daily intelligence briefings from the intelligence community.
“Until an ascertainment is made, the statute allows for the Biden Transition Team to continue to receive the pre-elect services from the government (e.g., limited office space, computers, background investigations for security clearances). GSA has met all statutory requirements under the PTA for this election cycle and will continue to do so,” a GSA spokesperson said.
Biden has claimed victory in the election, and many media organizations have projected that he won, based on current and predicted vote totals.
But President Donald Trump says the election isn’t over, and his campaign is fighting legal battles involving potential election fraud and unconstitutional actions in battleground states such as Pennsylvania.
The Epoch Times won’t call the presidential race until the legal battles are resolved.
Biden was asked on Nov. 10 about not getting intelligence briefings. He said the presidential daily brief “would be useful, but it’s not necessary,” before ruling out legal action on the matter.
“I’m not the sitting president now,” he said. “And so we don’t see anything as slowing us down, quite frankly.”