Is there some mechanism to punish past administrations that hinder the presidential transition in the U.S.? I am wondering if past administrations need to follow certain rules to insure a non-eventful and peaceful presidential transition. Is there any mechanism in place that prevent past administrations from refusing to collaborate, damaging furniture, equipment and infrastructure, misleading the transition team, destroying public records and so on?

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Congress passed the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 almost 60 years ago, but with the basic assumption that an outgoing President will follow the long-held tradition of a peaceful transition of power. That act has been modified multiple times in the intervening years, but that underlying assumption that presidents will follow that long-held tradition remaining intact.

But what if an outgoing President doesn't follow that long-held tradition? There are many ways to impede a peaceful transition of power that are not proscribed by that act.

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