House Democrats are bracing for what could be their last high-profile probe into the Trump administration: getting the president to admit he lost the election.
Democrats followed the president-elect Joe bidenJoe BidenTrump calls for recount in Georgia GOP Senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results Judge dismisses Camp Trump’s trial in Pennsylvania in scathing decision MORElead in rejection President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump campaign files re-count in Georgia GOP senator praises Biden, says Trump should accept results FDA grants emergency approval to coronavirus antibody treatment given to Trump MORELong-drawn out trials challenge election results, but their patience is running out.
Almost three weeks after the election and two weeks after the start of the race, Congressional Democrats are starting to dig through their surveillance toolbox and warn that Trump’s post-election actions pose a fundamental threat to democracy.
The chairmen of House oversight and supply committees – Reps. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher Maloney House committee chairs ask for briefing from GSA chief on presidential transition HHS drops celebrity COVID-19 ad campaign to ‘conquer desperation’ Maloney wins re-election in New York MORE (DN.Y.) and Nita LoweyNita Sue Lowey NIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats push Biden to choose Haaland as next Home Secretary | Trump administration’s proposal targets banks’ promises to avoid fossil fuel financing | Wasserman Schultz launches climate plan in presidential race Credits Wasserman Schultz launches climate plan in presidential race Credits Chairs of House committees request briefing from GSA chief on presidential transition READ MORE (DN.Y.) – demanded in a letter Thursday that the head of the General Service Administration (GSA) notify lawmakers by Monday why the agency has not yet allowed the presidential transition to begin with a process known as verification. They also threatened to transport the GSA administrator, deputy, chief of staff and general counsel for a public hearing.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Citizenship and government divided – a call to action for common ground Drastic cuts to Medicare would hurt the quality of health care No thanks, Dr Fauci MORE (D-Calif.) Said Democrats were trying to maintain a “unifying” post-election environment, but the delay in the transition pushed them to act.
She stressed that the committees only demand a briefing at this point, rather than immediately asking GSA officials to testify in a public hearing.
“He was really trying to be unifying. Let’s take our time, let’s give them a chance. And that’s why we don’t have a hearing, we just have a briefing, ”Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill on Friday.
She also said she saw an expanded role for the House in the presidential transition if Trump deepened his refusal to concede.
“I’m not the type to show my hand, but nonetheless, we’re ready. We are ready, ”Pelosi said.
Biden gradually increased the pressure on Trump to acknowledge his defeat. A few days after the call for the race by The Associated Press and all major cable television and news networks, Biden told reporters that “we’re going to do exactly what we would do if he conceded and said we won, which we have, so nothing really changes.”
But as more and more days have passed, Biden warned that obstructing the transition process could result in no more deaths of the COVID-19 pandemic and undermine democracy.
“It’s hard to understand how this man thinks,” Biden said this week. “I’m convinced he knows he didn’t win and he can’t win, and we’ll be sworn in on January 20th. It is simply outrageous what he is doing.
While House Democrats are starting small for now, they’re not ruling out subpoenas or even a trial – the same sort of steps they’ve taken with previous Trump surveillance inquiries since reclaiming the chamber mid-term of 2018.
The House Democrats’ first oversight of the presidential transition comes as a handful of GOP lawmakers begin to publicly urge Trump to concede and stop alleging voter fraud unless he has evidence .
The Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the results in tightly contested states have failed, but in recent days the president has also appeared to lobby state and local GOP election officials in Georgia and Michigan as he ‘he was seeking to block or delay the certification process.
His. Mitt RomneySenator Willard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results Trump candidate’s long road to Fed could be deadlock Memo: Trump continues efforts to cancel election MORE (R-Utah) said, “it’s hard to imagine worse, more undemocratic action from a sitting US president,” while Sen. Ben sasseSenator Ben SasseGOP congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results The Memo: Trump continues efforts to overturn election More Tories break with Trump over election demands MORE (R-Neb.) Said: “obviously Rudy [Giuliani] and his cronies should not pressure voters to ignore their certification obligations under the law.
And Friday, the senator. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar Alexander Candidate Trump’s long road to the Fed may be a dead end GOP lawmaker’s patience runs out with Trump’s tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans can’t let post-election demands’ Trump’s “ reckless ” MORE (R-Tenn.) Called on Biden to start receiving resources for the transition.
States are expected to complete certification of their results in the coming weeks before the Electoral College meeting on December 14. A few weeks later, on January 6, Congress counted and formally certified the votes cast by the electoral college.
In Thursday’s letter, leaders of the House Oversight and Appropriation Committees asked GSA administrator Emily Murphy to explain why she had not signed a document that would formally recognize Joe Biden as president-elect. and release funds for activities involved in the transition.
“Your actions to block the transitional activities required by law are having serious effects, including undermining the orderly transfer of power, compromising the ability of the new administration to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, hampering its ability to cope to the terrible economic crisis of our country and endangering our national security, ”they wrote. “We have been extremely patient, but we can’t wait any longer.”
representative Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyBiden’s Campaign Pushes GSA Chief to Endorse Civil Rights Transition Group, Watchdog Formally Asks Twitter To Suspend Trump Account For Misinformation Democrats Debate Fate of Trump Polls if Biden wins MORE (D-Va.), Who chairs an oversight subcommittee and signed the letter, called the Trump administration’s refusal to begin the transition “extraordinarily reckless” and “playing with fire.”
“It’s not ok. What if it was more than his anger? We have to focus on that. And we can’t let that go. And we have to protect the will of the people. What if they don’t. not, then we have to do it, ”Connolly said.
“In a democracy, at the end of the day, we respect – we don’t have to like – the results of a certified election that is beyond doubt.
Biden’s transition team is starting to take matters into their own hands without the usual resources such as government funding or intelligence briefings.
Biden’s team is soliciting funds from small donors, as well as the main contributors, to make up for the lack of government funding.
“We want to be clear: The Biden-Harris transition team will continue to move forward steadily. But, without verification, we have to fund the transition ourselves, and that’s why we are contacting you today, ”the transition team wrote in a fundraising email to supporters on Friday.