In unusual move, US spy agencies say they won’t share intelligence with Biden for now


THE COORDINATING AGENCY OF the United States Intelligence Community has said it will not share national security information with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden until he has been officially “ascertained”. The term refers to a process described in the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, which provides instructions for the orderly and peaceful transition of power in the US.

The process of transition includes giving the American president-elect access to the same national security information that the sitting president has access to. This process, described as “uncontroversial” by observers, has been followed without fail since at least 1963, when the Presidential Transition Act became law. However, in a statement published on Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said it would not support “a potential presidential transition” until “ascertainment of the candidate” by the administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) has been completed.

The GSA, an independent US government agency with a personnel force of over 12,000, chaired by Emily Murphy, must sign an official letter of “ascertainment” before the transition of power becomes official. However, this has not yet happened, as the sitting US president, Donald Trump, is refusing to concede the election, citing irregularities and fraud. The ODNI said on Tuesday that it would “not have contact with any transition team until notified by the GSA administrator”.

Furthermore, Biden has not been given access to the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), an analytical compendium of timely information that is produced by the US Intelligence Community every morning. The Democratic Party candidate for president confirmed that he had been given no access to the PDB, which typically requires authorization by the sitting president. In a separate development, it was reported on Tuesday that the State Department is refusing to facilitate telephone calls between Biden and leaders of foreign countries, as is typical during the presidential transition process.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported late on Tuesday evening that the White House instructed US federal agencies to continue preparing the Trump administration’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, which is due in February —three weeks after Trump is scheduled to depart the White House, based on the election projections of every major US news network.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 11 November 2020 | Permalink

9 Responses to In unusual move, US spy agencies say they won’t share intelligence with Biden for now

  1. Michael Mahoney says:

    Mr. Biden has not officially won the election so the GSA is correct in waiting. Gee, a government agency actually abiding by the law.

  2. truedan1 says:

    The public media may make projections as to the winner of an election, but that is not official. By law, an individual becomes a President-elect only after the Electoral College votes (this year on 14 December 2020). Any claim that an individual is a President-elect before that date is wishful thinking.

  3. williamdowney5 says:

    Before an individual may be considered “president-elect”, the designation is not effective until the states certify their election results. The votes have not been fully counted in many states, and there are allegations of fraud and electronic discounts due to software glitches.

    From a Constitutional perspective, the media does not have the right to declare the winner. I refer readers to the election contest between Dewey and Truman. In that election, the media declared Dewey the winner, but Truman won. “Don’t count your chickens until they’re (all) hatched.

  4. Michael W Williams says:

    The news media and DNC is calling Biden president-elect. Neither is an official organization that can certify an election. The Administration and intel folks are correct in not sharing classified information. Besides with possible ties to Russia, China, through his son, would he even past an SBI?

  5. Michael Mahoney says:

    OK, I’ll take the bait. What happens if Joe fails to obtain a security clearance? There is a book waiting to be written here!!

  6. Roberto says:

    Michael Mahoney – You do realize presidents don’t go through the clearance process, right? Trump didn’t go through one either (which he would likely have failed, of course)

  7. Michael Mahoney says:

    Roberto, no I did not know that – thanks for the knowledge. That explains a lot about some recent holders of the office. Strange tho that folks like me go thru the process for much less important positions, but not the person in charge. Thanks again.

  8. Terrorism Analyst says:

    Michael, The President also has the power to declassify any classified material he deams fit. To the best of my knowledge.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Gee thanks, just when I was settling in for a quiet weekend you drop that tidbit. I do not think most citizens realize just how much authority/power the President is entrusted with. Most folks put more thought into ‘what’s for lunch’ than ‘who to vote for’.
    Thank again.

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