There's a battle brewing between the FBI, the White House and the state of Virginia regarding the proposed new site of the FBI's new headquarters.
According to the New York Post, FBI Director Christopher Wray was not happy last week upon the announcement of the bureau's new headquarters, to be constructed in President Joe Biden's home state of Maryland.
An original agreement was struck to locate the headquarters in Virginia.
Wray, and others, believe that the Government Services Administration (GSA), which manages the U.S. government's real estate holdings, wasn't transparent in the site-selection process.
The suggestion was that the new FBI headquarters site selection was improperly influenced by a former Biden administration official.
Wray reportedly told colleagues in a memo "we have concerns about fairness and transparency in the process and GSA’s failure to adhere to its own site selection plan."
The new site chosen for the headquarters was Greenbelt, Maryland.
The Post noted:
A panel comprised of three career officials — two from the GSA and one from the FBI — had unanimously favored relocating the law enforcement agency to Springfield, Va., some 15 miles southwest of DC and closer to the bureau’s operations at the Quantico Marine Base and other national security agencies, Wray said in the memo, which was obtained by The Post.
Wray pointed to a decision-making official at the GSA who has some interesting tidbits regarding her background.
"The result of the senior executive’s one-directional changes was that Greenbelt became the most highly rated site," Wray said, noting that the rejection, "while not inherently inappropriate, is exceedingly rare."
While Wray didn't name names, The Wall Street Journal pointed to a particular former Biden administration official.
Nina Albert, a former vice president at Washington, DC’s public transportation authority who was appointed commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service by Biden in July 2021. The outlet added that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Albert’s former employer, owns the land on which the planned Greenbelt headquarters sits.
A bipartisan coalition of high-profile politicians out of Virginia, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D), Sen. Mark Warner (D), and Gov. Glenm Youngkin (R), wrote a letter regarding the situation.
"We have repeatedly condemned political interference in the independent, agency-run site selection process for a new FBI headquarters," wrote the group of politicians.
They added, "Any fair weighing of the criteria points to a selection of Virginia. It is clear that this process has been irrevocably undermined and tainted, and this decision must be reversed."