Major business leaders signed a letter urging Trump to concede, and warn that 'our democracy grows weaker' the longer the presidential transition is delayed

Associated Press/Andrew HarnikPresident-elect Joe Biden speaks Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
  • Over 100 American business leaders have signed a joint letter urging President Trump to concede the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden.
  • “Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished,” the letter reportedly says.
  • Executives who signed the letter include the president of private equity firm Blackstone and the head of real estate firm Tishman Speyer, according to a report from the New York Times.
  • The group, which reportedly includes major Republican and Democratic donors, is demanding that the head of the General Services Administration release funds to begin the presidential transition.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over 100 business leaders have co-signed a letter urging President Trump to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, the New York Times first reported on Monday morning.

“Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished,” the letter says. “Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk.”

The letter demands that the head of the General Services Administration, Emily W. Murphy, affirm President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and release funds to begin the transition. The group of executives who signed the letter includes the leaders of real estate firm Tishman Steyer, and the president of private equity firm the Blackstone Group, according to the Times.

Among the executives who signed the letter are major Republican donors, the Times notes, some of whom have discussed withholding funds for Republican candidates for US Senate in the Georgia runoffs this coming January until Trump concedes.

According to the report, the group was organised by New York State Attorney General Letitia James following an initial call organised by business leaders.


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Some business leaders, including prominent Trump supporter and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, have thus far defended the sitting president. Schwarzman’s position, however, has changed: “The outcome is very certain today and the country should move on,” he told the Times in a statement. “I supported President Trump and the strong economic path he built. Like many in the business community, I am now ready to help President-elect Biden and his team as they confront the significant challenges of rebuilding our post-COVID economy.”

President Trump has refused to concede the election, and his legal team continues to pursue cases in several states. Trump and his lawyers have repeatedly claimed widespread voter fraud, but have yet to provide any evidence of such claims.

Read the full letter, titled “Open Letter on Presidential Transition”:

“America is being ravaged by a deadly pandemic with enormous social and economic consequences. The attention and energy of public and private sector leaders should be entirely focused on uniting our country to fight the coronavirus, provide aid to those in need, prevent further business disruption and loss of jobs, and invest in our economic recovery and revitalization.

Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished. Our national interest and respect for the integrity of our democratic process requires that the administrator of the federal General Services Administration immediately ascertain that Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris are the president-elect and vice president-elect so that a proper transition can begin. Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk.

As business and civic leaders who reflect the political diversity of the country, we urge respect for the democratic process and unified support for our duly elected leadership. There is not a moment to waste in the battle against the pandemic and for the recovery and healing of our nation to begin.”

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