Two leading House Republicans have initiated an investigation into the contentious methodology employed for determining the location of the FBI’s future headquarters, as shared by The Washington Post.
The investigation was announced by Republican Representatives James Comer and Jim Jordan through a statement delivered on a Friday, according to the Post.
This action was sparked when a high-ranking official at the General Services Administration (GSA), responsible for selecting a new spot to replace the deteriorating J. Edgar Hoover building, dismissed a unanimous site recommendation presented by the government panel.
It was observed that the said panel’s pick, a parcel of land owned by the GSA official’s previous employer, was completely disregarded. ‘It is the duty of the Committees to delve into potential conflicts of interest, as well as any misapplication of American taxpayers’ funds,’ Jordan shared with the Post.
He mentioned that the House is in desperate pursuit of significant information concerning the scandal surrounding the GSA’s choice to dismiss the panel-recommended location in Springfield, Virginia, instead opting for Greenbelt, Maryland, for the FBI’s new headquarters.
The panel involved in this critical decision included two GSA representatives and one from the FBI. Nina Albert, a former senior official at the GSA, was the figure who decided to overturn their site recommendation. The decision-making process was chastised by FBI Director Christopher Wray in an internal communication.
Wray noted that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the ex-employer of the GSA official who chose the new site for the FBI’s headquarters, is the current proprietor of the selected Greenbelt site.
‘The FBI has observed certain instances when external information was introduced into the decision-making process in a way that seemingly gave an unfair advantage to Greenbelt. Moreover, the reasons given to defend these extraordinary deviations from the panel’s recommendations were varied and lacked consistency,’ mentioned Wray, in his communique.
Wray voiced his apprehensions over a ‘potential conflict of interest’ when selecting the site. The GSA utilized ‘racial equity’ and ease of access to public transport as their main reasons for selecting the site in Maryland over the one in Virginia.
The political leaders in Maryland have, for the most part, defended the integrity of the selection process while disputes have arisen in Virginia where officials have demanded investigations.
The House investigation isn’t the only probe facing GSA in relation to its FBI headquarters selection. The inspector general for the GSA kicked off its own probe into the selection process the preceding Thursday. The GSA was yet to provide a comment in response to Daily Caller News foundation’s query.