Continued stonewalling could have devastating effects, experts say.
Pete Sessions, the incoming congressman for Texas's 17th District, took to Facebook Monday to make a very important — albeit false — announcement: President-elect Joe Biden isn't actually president-elect.
"Former Vice-President Biden is not the President-Elect," wrote Sessions, who previously served in the House for more than two decades before losing his reelection fight in 2018. "In case you were wondering."
Accompanying his statement he attached a letter that has spread like wildfire across Republican spheres on social media. The letter is written to Emily Murphy, administrator of of the General Services Administration, from Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
In it, Hice tells Murphy, a Trump appointee who has famously blocked the Biden team from beginning the transition process, that while she may provide "government-funded transition assistance," but that said assistance "can only occur after there are 'apparent successful candidates for the office of the President and Vice President.'"
"There are enough state contests in question, such that there is not yet an apparent President or Vice-President," Hice goes on to say in his letter to Murphy, claiming that in certain circumstances a situation involving an "un-apparent President-Elect" may arise.
The blind insistence among high-profile Republicans that President-elect Joe Biden has not actually been elected persists even as the stakes grow higher for a peaceful transition to occur.
Trump himself continues to spread his baseless claims of victory, tweeting Monday morning, "I won the Election!"
A Twitter warning accompanying the message notes, "Official sources called this election differently."
"The Radical Left Democrats, working with their partner, the Fake News Media, are trying to STEAL this Election. We won't let them!" the White House occupant tweeted two hours later.
This tweet, too, earned a cautionary flag from Twitter: "This claim about election fraud is disputed," it read.
Prominent officials are also spuriously backing those claims.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro went on Fox Business on Friday to falsely claim Trump won an election he squarely lost.
“We are moving forward here at the White House under the assumption there will be a second Trump term,” he said.
Earlier last week, when asked by a reporter if the Trump team was readying itself to help ease Biden's transition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there wouldn't be any transition — at least not to a Biden administration.
"There will be a smooth transition — to a second Trump administration," Pompeo told the assembled press. "Right, we're ready. The world is watching what's taking place. We're gonna count all the votes, when the process is complete, there'll be electors selected."
And Republican voters are abandoning their once-beloved Fox News Channel in droves, looking for a media outlet that reinforces the baseless idea that Biden is not the president-elect. They've found it in Newsmax TV, a far-right outlet that doesn't acknowledge Biden's election win and is being touted as a Fox News alternative.
But claims of Biden's illegitimacy have no basis in actual fact. Election officials all over the country, as well as some of Trump's own government agencies, have acknowledged that claims of widespread voter fraud are baseless.
And the continued stonewalling of the Biden transition team by the Trump administration could have catastrophic consequences as the COVID pandemic spirals to dangerous new heights. Biden, unable to access key documents and data without GSA approval, is stymied — unable to be briefed or take necessary initiatives to combat the coronavirus.
America's top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci pointed this out on CNN Sunday.
"Of course it would be better if we could start working with [the Biden team]," he said. "It's almost like passing a baton in a race — you don't want to stop and then give it to somebody. You want to just essentially keep going. And that is what transition is."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.