The Biden transition has been in limbo, awaiting the GSA’s “ascertainment” determination — the formal affirmation set up by the 1963 Presidential Transition Act. Until that ascertainment is done, the Biden unit cannot formally begin the transition process. The impediment is costing the Biden team access to more than $6 million in federal funding, security permissions, and the privilege to meet with officials at intelligence agencies.
Although McEnany, during the White House press briefing on Friday, said the GSA “will make the determination of ascertainment at the right moment,” stating that there is a continuous “constitutional process,” while referring to the Trump campaign’s lawsuit endeavors regarding the 2020 presidential election.
“There are questions that need to be answered,” McEnany said. “The GSA will determine when ascertainment is reached.”
“There is a presidential transition act that determines exactly what an administration needs to do in advance of an election,” McEnany said. “We’ve done everything we statutorily needed to do.”
President Trump has yet to concede, notwithstanding President-elect Biden having secured more than the 270 electoral votes necessary to conquer the win.
McEnany upheld that move, saying the Trump campaign is “pursuing ongoing litigation” and “taking it day by day.”
“The president has been clear — he wants every legal vote to be counted and no illegal votes counted,” McEnany said.
When asked about the concession, she said: “I will leave it to the president.”
But McEnany cited Trump’s transition process in 2016, contemplating on the Russia investigation and opposition from Democrats.
“His presidency was never accepted,” she said, citing the Russia probe, calling them “baseless allegations” and an attempt to “subvert the will of the American people.”
McEnany grilled the FBI’s original Russia probe, saying it was an attempt to try to “silence the voice of the American people,” and referred to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants that were passed to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
McEnany then turned to Trump’s transition period, pointing to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who at the time said she would “obstruct” and “investigate” Trump’s transition, the press secretary said.
“You have 70 lawmakers saying, we’re not coming to his inauguration — Democrats,” McEnany then went back to the “bogus” and “widely debunked” Steele dossier and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year-long probe into whether Trump or members of his campaign worked with or conspired with the Russians to manipulate the 2016 election.
“In 2016, many sought to undermine him, discredit him, and deny his victory,” McEnany said. “There were no calls for unity.”
“Let us not forget what President Trump has had to endure four years into his presidency," she added.