Biden team, GSA sign transition memorandum

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the economic crisis in Wilmington, Del., Friday Sept. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s transition team has signed a memorandum of understanding with President Donald Trump’s General Services Administration to begin planning for a potential handover of power.

Biden’s team signed the memo with the General Services Administration Thursday, according to the agency. The document is required under the Presidential Transition Act and formalizes how the federal government will go about assisting Biden’s transition team ahead of Election Day.

Formal federal support for presidential transition teams was first put into practice in 2012 in an effort to ensure presidential candidates are prepared to assume the White House should they win the election.

In 2016, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had offices and staffs in the same building preparing for a transition ahead of Election Day. Nearly all of Trump’s plan was subsequently shelved after he won the White House.

For the first time, the 2020 memo includes a pledge by Biden’s team to devise and publish an ethics plan to be implemented should he win on Election Day. That requirement was put into the place in a 2019 amendment to the transition act.

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