Trump’s transition team plots his departure — even if he won’t

Liddell has met the congressionally mandated deadlines to file two different transition reports in May and August. He is working closely with a career government official who is serving as the federal transition coordinator — typically the type of worker Trump would label as part of the “Deep State.” And the Justice Department has already agreed to start pre-processing Biden officials’ security clearances just in case he wins, according to people familiar with the planning.

“They are very, very focused on implementing the law and doing it by the book, and they are doing a good job,” said David Marchick, director of the nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service…

The question is whether Liddell can maintain this level of professionalism if and when Trump starts paying more attention to the prospect of leaving office. Trump’s last transition team under Gov. Chris Christie also ran smoothly and made plans for hiring Cabinet officials and rolling out executive orders — until the Trump team fired Christie days after winning and threw his binders of plans in the trash.

“I suspect the president is totally unaware,” one former Obama transition official said about Trump and the transition plans. “It could go sideways as soon as he knows this is going on.”

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