Emily Murphy, the Trump appointee whose refusal to acknowledge the election result has prevented Joe Biden from officially starting his presidential transition, is reportedly “struggling with the weight of the presidential election being dropped on her shoulders,” according to friends and colleagues who spoke to CNN. Murphy heads the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of maintaining federal property. She has refused to sign a letter acknowledging Biden as president-elect. While her boss refuses to concede the election, Murphy’s decision means the Biden transition team does not have access to funds used for background checks or hiring new employees.
According to CNN, Murphy is “basing her decision on what she sees as the precedent set by the 2000 election, where there was not a clear winner for more than a month,” even though Biden’s electoral college victory is larger than George W. Bush’s that year, and Trump’s legal challenges to throw out votes have repeatedly been denied. Facing intense pressure, she is “afraid on multiple levels,” one friend and former colleague said.