Several officials told me that a group of Trump loyalists is seizing the opportunity to purge the Pentagon (and several other agencies) largely without close supervision from the president, who remains focused on fighting the outcome of the election. By installing themselves in top jobs, these officials are stalling the transition, settling scores and advancing their own ambitions. Many officials in the agencies they are taking over are also now wondering whether the loyalists’ plan includes helping Trump resist leaving office…

The moment of truth will come if and when the General Services Administration certifies that Joe Biden won the election, making it the law of the land. Trump may order his officials not to comply. That could force every senior official, including Milley, to choose between following the law or staying loyal to the president.

If such a development comes to pass, the continuing crisis atop the Pentagon and across the government would reach a new and dangerous level, leaving our country during this fraught transition even more unstable and unsafe than it has already become.