Two senior House Republicans announced a probe into the controversial process that decided the location of the FBI’s new headquarters, The Washington Post reported.
Republican Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan announced their probe on Friday in a letter to the Federal government, according to the Post. The probe came after a top bureaucrat at the General Services Administration (GSA), the agency tasked with choosing a new location for a building to replace the FBI’s aging J. Edgar Hoover building, disregarded a unanimous recommendation from a government panel to choose a piece of land owned by her former employer, Fox 5 DC reported.
“The Committees have a duty to investigate potential conflicts of interest and misallocation of American taxpayer dollars,” Jordan told the Post. He said the House seeks “crucial information related to the scandal around GSA’s decision to deviate from the panel-recommended location of Springfield, Virginia, in favor of Greenbelt, Maryland, for the FBI’s new headquarters.”
The panel was composed of two GSA representatives and one from the FBI. Former senior GSA official Nina Albert overruled their site recommendation.
FBI Director Christopher Wray criticized the selection process in an internal email, according to Fox 5 DC. Wray noted the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which was the former employer of the GSA official who chose it to be the site of the new FBI headquarters, owns the Greenbelt site.
“The FBI observed that, at times, outside information was inserted into the process in a manner which appeared to disproportionately favor Greenbelt, and the justifications for the departures from the panel were varied and inconsistent,” Wray said in the email.
Wray raised concerns over “a potential conflict of interest” in selecting the site.
The GSA, in its decision, cited “racial equity” and proximity to public transit as reasons for choosing the Maryland site over its competitor in Virginia, the Post reported.
Maryland is a Democratic-led state with a more heavily Democratic congressional delegation than Virginia. Elected officials in Maryland have largely defended the selection process as fair, while Virginia officials have raised concerns and called for investigations, according to the Post.
The House probe isn’t the only investigation the GSA faces over its FBI headquarters selection. The inspector general for the GSA launched its own investigation into the selection process on Thursday.
The GSA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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