By LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with transition plans, capping a tumultuous and tension-filled campaign during a historic pandemic against President Donald Trump, who still refuses to concede the election and is taking extraordinary moves to challenge the results.
Running out of legal alternatives to override the election loss, Trump is mounting a pressure campaign on the leaders of Republican-controlled legislatures in Michigan and other key states to try to overturn a democratic election.
The Biden team is warning Trump’s refusal to concede not only harms American democracy but may also put American lives at risk as the Trump administration stonewalls Biden’s access to coronavirus vaccine distribution plans. Biden is still forging ahead with his move to the White House and preparing to announce key Cabinet positions this week.
Though Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud, his legal efforts to invalidate ballots have been rejected at least 30 times in court, according to an ABC News count.
Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Nov 23, 11:00 am
Biden announces more White House senior staff
Biden’s White House senior staff is expanding ahead of his Cabinet announcement Tuesday. His transition announced two deputy directors of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs: Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff.
Dodin served as deputy chief of staff and floor director to the Senate Democratic Whip, Sen. Dick Durbin.
Goff served as floor director for the House of Representatives under House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer — the first Black woman to hold the position.
This announcement brings the total number of Biden senior staff to 12: five men and eight women.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Nov 23, 10:45 am
Michigan officials to convene on election results
The Michigan board of state canvassers will convene at 1 p.m. ET Monday to certify to election results.
By state law and historically by practice, certification by the board of state canvassers — which is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans — is a procedural step.
The board is obligated to confirm the election results per state law — essentially validating that the unofficial results match the tabulated votes. If the board is deadlocked, a court would likely intervene and compel certification.
All 83 counties in Michigan have certified their results, including the contested Wayne County, according to the secretary of state. The state bureau of elections also submitted a formal recommendation to the canvassing board, not only confirming Biden’s victory in the state but also assuring that the errors in reporting, which Trump and his allies have exploited, are “all attributable to human error,” “did not affect the actual tabulation of votes” and “were identified and corrected either prior to or during the county canvass.”
While Republicans, including RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, have called for a delay in certification to conduct an audit of Wayne County’s results, the secretary of state already confirmed plans for a post-election audit, including a performance audit in Wayne County. Under current state law, audits can only be completed after the results are certified.
Biden’s margin of victory in Michigan is currently more than 154,000 votes, nearly 15 times Trump’s margin in 2016.
-ABC News’ Kendall Karson
Nov 23, 10:07 am
Overview: Trump has no public events while Biden meets virtually with mayors
Officials in Michigan and Pennsylvania are slated to meet Monday to certify votes despite last-ditch efforts by Trump and his allies to override his election loss through legal battles and political pressure on GOP-controlled state legislators.
The president has largely hunkered down inside the White House since Election Day — the last time he took questions from reporters — and has no public events on his schedule again Monday. Over the weekend, as coronavirus cases climbed across the country, Trump went golfing instead of meeting with world leaders at a G20 event about the pandemic.
Biden and Harris are pressing forward with their transition, meeting virtually with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization, on Monday.
Biden’s team, meanwhile, continues to warn that Trump’s refusal to concede not only harms American democracy but, hindering their access to pandemic plans, may put American lives at risk.
Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, told ABC’s “This Week” that the president-elect is still being denied intelligence briefings, FBI background checks on potential Cabinet nominees and access to agency officials to help develop plans including those on coronavirus vaccine distribution.
Nov 23, 9:56 am
Biden has congratulatory call with Prime Minister of New Zealand
Biden shared a congratulatory phone call Sunday night with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, according to a readout issued by his transition team.
Biden also congratulated Ardern on her reelection, which she overwhelmingly won last month, and the two discussed containing COVID-19, climate change, strengthening democracy and “maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”
The president-elect also praised Ardern’s leadership after the 2019 Christchurch massacre and during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling her a “role model.”
In total, Biden has now spoken with world leaders from 14 different countries and the Vatican.
-ABC News’ John Verhovek
Nov 23, 9:38 am
Some in GOP call on Trump to concede as he stonewalls Biden’s transition
With less than 60 days until the inauguration, the Trump administration is still refusing to recognize Biden as the president-elect as a small but growing number of Republicans are calling for a full and formal transition process to begin.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the latest to add her voice, slamming Trump’s apparent “pressure campaign” on state legislators to try to overturn election results as “unprecedented” and “inconsistent with our Democratic process” while calling for Biden’s ascertainment in a statement Sunday.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a close confidant of Trump’s who helped him prepare for debates, called his legal team “a national embarrassment” on ABC’s This Week following another defeat in a Pennsylvania court over the weekend with a blistering dismissal from the judge.
After the ruling, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania urged Trump to concede the loss and facilitate the transition process, suggesting that his legacy will be harmed if he doesn’t help unify the country.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, who has publicly feuded with Trump over the federal government’s response to COVID-19, also said Sunday he was more “embarrassed” by others in the party who haven’t spoken out.
Liz Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, also asked Trump over the weekend to respect “the sanctity of our electoral process” if he can’t prove his claims of widespread voter fraud, which he’s so far been unable to do.
Even Trump allies like Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, are calling on the Trump administration to give Biden intelligence briefings — even if they aren’t publicly recognizing him yet as the president-elect.
Nov 23, 9:38 am
ABC: Biden to name his pick for US ambassador to the UN
Biden is expected to name Linda Thomas Greenfield as his pick for U.S. ambassador to the U.N., according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Greenfield, a retired foreign service officer, is currently leading the State Department agency review team for the Biden transition and was one of the officials who briefed him last week on national security.
She would be just the second Black woman to ever serve in the post.
Biden’s transition declined to comment to ABC News.
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