The missive marks a step forward as the Trump administration prepares to exit the White House later this month. But it comes after several weeks of delays during which current career and political staffers, as well as Biden transition officials, repeatedly raised the issue with the Trump administration, one person familiar with the discussions said.

In prior administrations, White House chiefs of staff have asked for political appointees to begin preparing their resignation letters as early as October. Though it’s not a step required by law, it is standard practice.

Some White House staff had wanted to send the memo requesting resignation letters in December but had been blocked from doing so, a second person familiar with the effort said.

The delay marks another divergence from past presidential transitions, and it represented a roadblock for current political appointees looking to plan their path forward after Trump leaves office later this month. A failure to ask for resignations would also have forced Biden and his Cabinet secretaries to fire appointees on their first days in office before they could bring in new employees.

“In classic Trump style,” one of the people said, “it’s a total disservice to the people that have served him.”

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