Follow Us

Comer, Connolly seek review of FBI headquarters selection

"With respect to the new FBI headquarters, GSA initially set out criteria for assessing potential sites, and a process for selecting among them. But it changed the rules in the middle of the game. The criteria were changed," they continued.

Published: December 5, 2023 3:19pm

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly on Tuesday urged the General Services Administration (GSA) to conduct a review of the selection process for the FBI's new headquarters.

In early November, reports emerged that the FBI had selected Greenbelt, Md., as the site of its new facility. The General Services Administration (GSA)  was responsible for overseeing the site selection and the lawmakers on Tuesday urged GSA acting Inspector General Robert Erickson to review the matter.

"GSA must be fair and transparent in its operations. Its real estate dealings should consider only what is best for taxpayers and the Nation. It must set aside political or parochial interests. We are deeply concerned that GSA’s choice of a new FBI headquarters site departed from those principles—and in doing so, failed to put taxpayers and the public interest first," the pair wrote.

"With respect to the new FBI headquarters, GSA initially set out criteria for assessing potential sites, and a process for selecting among them. But it changed the rules in the middle of the game. The criteria were changed," they continued. "The selection process itself was changed. Most disturbingly, a new umpire — a political appointee — was inserted in the final inning. That individual, Nina Albert, the Commissioner of the Public Building Service at GSA, overturned the unanimous site decision of an expert panel of civil servants representing GSA and its agency client, the FBI."

The years-long process has attracted considerable scrutiny, including an administrative review of allegations that former President Donald Trump opposed the FBI's move out of D.C., fearing the existing headquarters might be sold to a hotel developer and lead to competition with his own, now-sold hotel. The Department of Justice inspector general later determined that concerns related to the Trump International Hotel, now the Waldorf-Astoria, played no part in the selection process.

The DOJ Inspector General's office launched its own probe into the matter earlier this month.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter. 

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook