Less than 6 months from Election Day, the Trump Administration has already missed one of the deadlines for presidential transition preparations that they are required to meet by law. In early May, CREW requested documents related to the upcoming presidential transition that would shed light on whether the Trump administration was fully prepared to shepherd our government into a second Trump term or to transfer power to his successor. The six month progress report to Congress on the 2020 presidential transition was a mere nine pages and issued more than a week after it was due. The report failed to address what the administration is doing to deal with logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus or if there are pandemic experts advising the process along the way.
CREW is requesting additional documents from political appointees at the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget, as well as from officials at the Office of Government Ethics and National Archives and Records Administration to learn about the administration’s first meeting of the Agency Agency Transition Directors Council held on or around May 27, 2020 as well as plans for future meetings, and communications with the Trump and Biden campaigns.
The administration’s missed deadline, repeated failure to comply with transparency measures, and insufficient discussion of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the transition process raises significant cause for concern. Experts agree that facilitating a smooth transition is critical to governance if there is a new administration coming in or even if an incumbent president is reelected. The American public deserves robust reporting on the Trump administration’s transition plans and satisfactory explanations on how they are accounting for the effects of the pandemic and other potential challenges.