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Lawyers for President-elect Joe Biden's transition team accused President Trump and his allies of trying to "interfere with the inevitable" as the president refuses to concede the election and continues to pursue legal challenges to ballots in several states.
The White House and Trump political appointees have told government officials not to begin working with the Biden transition team until the General Services Administration (GSA) makes its official ascertainment that Biden has won the election, according to reports.
This certification opens up funds, lets the incoming administration move into government offices, allows members of the transition team to get intelligence reports and more. But the GSA has yet to officially determine that Biden is the winner of the election, a decision which a spokesperson defended as consistent with precedent established during the 2000 Bush-Gore legal fight.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Members of the Biden legal team, however, disputed the GSA's characterization of the status of the current election and panned the refusal to concede from Trump and his backers.
"For somebody to judge how this is done in the past, they should look to the past and with the exception of Florida 2000, which is a very bad example, I think, as you well know, certainly not at all analogous to this situation," Biden legal adviser Bob Bauer said Tuesday. "The ascertainment, as it's called, would have been done by now."
Added Biden campaign General Counsel Dana Remus: "I think that there's every indication from every corner that President Trump, his campaign, his allies are trying everything to interfere with the inevitable. But we are pushing forward and we are confident that the inevitable is a very successful administration."
Trump, meanwhile, continues to reiterate "WE WILL WIN!" on Twitter and added Tuesday, "People will not accept this Rigged Election!"
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. The president has not yet conceded the presidential election. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
After Biden declared victory Saturday when several news organizations, including Fox News, called Pennsylvania in his favor, Trump released a statement saying Biden "is rushing to falsely pose as the winner."
"The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor," Trump added in the statement.
Despite a number of suits filed in multiple states by the Trump team, there is almost no chance that the legal strategy could achieve a positive electoral result for the president. Even if some improper votes are found and thrown out, based on the history of past legal challenges and recounts, it would be nearly impossible for such challenges to disqualify so many votes that it closes the gaps Biden leads by in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and others.
The Trump campaign, for example, was in court Tuesday arguing to throw out fewer than 600 ballots in Montgomery County, Pa., on technicalities. When asked by a judge if there is any evidence of "fraud" or "undue influence" in those votes, the Trump lawyer replied that there was not — just that the ballots were improperly filled out and should be disqualified.
Biden leads by more than 47,000 votes in Pennsylvania.
The fact the GSA has not yet officially ascertained that Biden will win the presidential election, which was called by the Fox News Decision Desk on Saturday, has not completely stalled the presidential transition. The Biden team is forging ahead with what it can do, it says, though it warns that delaying the Biden transition team's access to official government resources like intelligence reports could harm national security.
A GSA spokesperson added that the Biden team can "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 [Presidential Transition Act of 1963] for this election cycle and will continue to do so."
Fox News' Jacqui Heinrich, Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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