Democrats are preparing for the possibility that President Donald Trump and his staff will sabotage their transition if he loses the 2020 election.
At least one outside group -- National Security Action -- has started making preparations for the Democratic campaigns in the event their candidate wins, and Elizabeth Warren has just released a plan that describes how she would quickly staff the government to smooth the transition if she won the White House, reported Politico.
“This will be no ordinary transition between administrations,” Warren says, in the policy statement. “Unlike previous transitions, we will not be able to assume good faith cooperation on the part of the outgoing administration.”
All presidential transitions are challenging, but Democrats involved in several 2020 campaigns worry that Trump's political appointees would freeze out their successors and leave behind little or no paperwork to guide the new team.
Some fear the Trump team will destroy paperwork on controversial issues and launch last-minute initiatives to trip up the incoming team.
This all assumes Trump accepts the election loss and agrees to leave.
“This could be the most hostile, least professional transition in American history,” a former senior official in the Barack Obama administration said. “And the new administration will have to spend the early period – when it should be hitting the ground running – unearthing buried bodies.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment, but a White House spokesman insisted the administration would "meet all requirements under the law as it relates to any needed transition between administrations.”
The president's allies, however, argued that Democrats were blowing those fears out of proportion and asked why an outgoing administration would help their successors dismantle their work.
“I would say ‘Take a chill pill,’” said James Carafano, a foreign policy expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation who took part in Trump's transition team. “You can gain enormous situational awareness without having Cabinet secretaries sit down and debrief you.”