Trump defiantly blocking transfer of power to Biden

By Alfonso Fernandez

Washington, Nov 10 (efe-epa).- The refusal of President Donald Trump and many of his supporters to accept defeat in last week’s election opens up a chaotic scenario in the US with the Department of Justice backing the president’s unfounded complaints of election fraud, even as he continues to block any cooperation with President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

Four days after Biden was projected by major media outlets to have won the election, Trump remains barricaded behind a wall of accusations for which he and others have been unable to present any evidence.

“WE ARE MAKING BIG PROGRESS. RESULTS START TO COME IN NEXT WEEK. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” wrote Trump on Twitter early Tuesday morning, without offering any further details on the matter.

Although at first Republicans had opted to maintain their silence on the matter, little by little GOP leaders have been providing qualified support for the president’s complaints.

Trump is “100 percent within his rights” to order an examination of allegations of “irregularities,” pursue court cases and request vote recounts in assorted states, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday in a speech on the Senate floor, refusing to acknowledge Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 vote.

“No states have yet certified their election results,” McConnell said, adding “I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states.”

The current situation comes in marked contrast to what occurred four years ago, when Trump defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Just a few days after the 2016 result became known, Trump was welcomed to the White House by outgoing then-President Barack Obama, thus kicking off the process of an orderly transfer of power.

That scenario seems unthinkable now.

Given this unusual situation, internal turmoil and agitation within federal agencies is becoming plain.

Just minutes after US Attorney General William Barr ordered the president’s complaints of alleged fraud in the presidential election investigated, the election crimes director at the Department of Justice, Richard Pilger, announced his immediate resignation.

“Having familiarized myself with the new rule and its ramifications … unfortunately I must resign my position as director of the Electoral Crimes Division,” Pilger wrote in an internal communication that was leaked to US media outlets on Monday night.

Pilger also said he regretted that Barr’s order “repeals a 40-year rule of non-interference (federal) in electoral fraud investigations during the period prior to the certification of the elections.”

Barr had criticized the role of Pilger’s office and had obligated all DOJ prosecutors to investigate alleged irregularities in the presidential vote before the election results would be declared to be definitive.

The government agency tasked with launching the transition process is the General Services Administration, once it has been determined that there is an “apparently successful” election winner.

That is something that, for the moment, GSI director Emily Murphy, who was appointed by Trump, has not done.

Although Biden felt it was appropriate to give the Trump administration a few days to absorb and assimilate the defeat, little by little the president-elect’s campaign’s unease has been growing in the face of the president’s belligerent stance.

A Biden advisor said in a telephone call to the media Monday night that the Biden campaign believes that the time has come for the GSA director to quickly certify the former VP and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, as the president- and vice president-elect.

This certification is necessary so that the mechanics of the transition can begin to operate, thus authorizing access to members of the president-elect’s transition team to government information and so that they may establish contact with officials at federal agencies.

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