Inspector general launches probe examining decision to relocate FBI headquarters to Maryland

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog will investigate how the Biden administration chose a site for a new FBI headquarters following a contentious competition marked by allegations of conflict of interest.

The Inspector General for the General Services Administration is probing the decision to locate the facility in Greenbelt, Maryland, over a site in Virginia., according to a letter released Thursday by Virginia lawmakers. The new building would replace the FBI’s crumbling headquarters in nearby Washington, D.C.

Virginia’s senators and representatives said in a joint statement that there was evidence the process was influenced by political considerations and called on the GSA to pause anything related to the relocation until the review is complete.

The news comes after FBI Director Christopher Wray told staff in an internal message earlier this month that he was concerned about a “potential conflict of interest” in a senior executive choosing a site owned by a previous employer.

GSA, which manages the government’s real estate portfolio, denied any conflict and said the Greenbelt site was chosen because it was cheapest and had the best access to public transit.

Maryland and Virginia have long been vying to land the FBI.

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