Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is agreeing with Oklahoma Senator James Lankford that President Trump needed to begin sharing intelligence briefings with President-elect Biden immediately. The South Carolina senator is one of multiple GOP leaders standing by President Trump as he engages in legal battles across the country regarding the 2020 presidential election outcome and voter fraud concerns.
The Republican leader hopes for a smooth transition of power, as many others do. However, his reasoning behind why he hopes Biden begins receiving briefings soon actually has to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In a report from Hot Air:
On Tuesday two former chiefs of staff, John Podesta and Andy Card, flagged the delayed transition after the contested 2000 election as a factor in the 9/11 attacks. “When the 9/11 Commission finished its report, it found that the delayed transition ‘hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees’ in the national security arena,” Podesta and Card wrote. “The commission also concluded that avoiding future disruptions in transitions was deeply in the national interest.” What’s more, Card and Podesta noted that Bush *did* start receiving intelligence briefings even as the litigation was playing out in Florida. The delay that damaged the transition was GSA refusing to release transition resources to the Bush campaign because it couldn’t fairly “ascertain” him as the winner until after the court battle.
The 2000 election was incredibly tight, with Bush and Gore separated by fewer than a thousand votes in a single deciding state. The current election is nowhere near as close as that and there’s no decisive litigation pending anywhere. Biden’s not even getting the intel briefings that Bush got, and GSA hasn’t released transition resources to him even though the same agency made an “ascertainment” that Trump had won the election the day after the vote in 2016. Biden’s all but guaranteed to end up with the same number of electoral votes Trump had that year and margins in close states like Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona comparable to the margins Trump enjoyed in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania four years ago. And he’ll have won the popular vote comfortably, not lost it. (Right, granted, Hillary conceded the day after the 2016 election whereas Trump hasn’t conceded this year, but GSA has never required a concession to “ascertain” who won.) There’s no reason why an “ascertainment” shouldn’t be made on Biden’s behalf in the interest of national security, to get the new team up and running as quickly as possible.
Typically, presidential briefings are not shared with the President-elect until the GSA has certified the results, the earlier of which would be Friday. President Trump has not conceded the race to Joe Biden yet.