A federal investigation has been launched into the Biden Administration’s decision to relocate the headquarters of the FBI from Washington D.C. to Maryland after accusations of conflicts of interest.
According to ABC News, the investigation is being carried out by the Inspector General for the General Services Administration (GSA), and will try to determine if there was any corruption or irregularities behind the Biden Administration’s selection of Greenbelt, Maryland, rather than a location in Virginia. The probe was announced through a letter on Thursday addressed to the Virginia state legislature.
After roughly a decade of debate over whether to move the new headquarters to Virginia or Maryland, the decision to choose the latter drew criticism from Virginia lawmakers who claimed that politics played a major role in the choice. The GSA has stated that it only chose Maryland due to easier transit access and lower costs overall.
“We applaud the inspector general for moving quickly and encourage him to move forward to complete a careful and thorough review,” said the Virginia delegation in a joint statement.
In a response, Maryland leaders released their own statement reaffirming their support for the decision, insisting that “any objective evaluation will find that the GSA arrived at this decision after a thorough and transparent process.”
The acting inspector general sent a letter to United States Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) announcing that the investigation would begin immediately.
The GSA has also defended its actions during the selection process, having previously released materials relevant to the decision and conducted a legal review of its own after concerns were raised by FBI Director Christopher Wray. Wray cited a “potential conflict of interest” after it was determined that the chosen site was owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which had previously employed a current GSA executive.
“We carefully followed the requirements and process and stand behind GSA’s final site selection decision,” a GSA spokesman said in a statement.