President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team is preparing for legal action over the GSA’s delay in recognizing his projected win, which is delaying transition work.
On Monday, a Biden transition official told reporters that the GSA needed to grant a determination to recognize Biden as the president-elect, adding that the team would consider legal action if the agency did not do so.
The delay prevents Biden’s team from receiving access to millions of federal dollars that would pay for salaries, consultants, travel, and access to government officials, including those in intelligence.
According to Reuters, the official said, “Legal action is certainly a possibility, but there are other options as well that we’re considering.”
They said, “There’s a number of levers on the table, and all options are certainly available,” calling the situation “certainly rather fluid.”
The GSA typically recognizes a presidential candidate when it’s clear who won the election to begin the transition of power.
A spokesperson for GSA told The Hill that Administrator Emily Murphy is waiting to see that “a winner is clear.” They said, “An ascertainment has not yet been made. GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by and fulfill all requirements under the law.”
The potential legal action comes after Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential race on Saturday by several media outlets.
According to Reuters, there is no law that states when exactly the GSA needs to begin ascertainment, but the Biden transition team is arguing that the current delay is not valid.
But Donald Trump has refused to concede, alleging voter fraud contributed to Biden’s victory.
Trump’s campaign has filed several lawsuits in different key swing states contesting the ballot count after he spread false claims for months about mail-in ballots opening up the election to fraud.
Experts say that some recounts will be triggered in swing states by narrow margins, but it is unlikely to change the outcome of the race.
The transition of power also allows the incoming presidential team to have access to the State Department, which typically sets up calls between foreign leaders and the incoming president.
Once Biden is recognized, his team can start requesting security clearances and background checks for potential Cabinet nominees.