Maryland’s Governor Wes Moore (D) defended the decision for the FBI’s new headquarters to be located in the state after the decision stirred up some controversy, notably among Virginia lawmakers.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told agency staff that he was concerned about a potential conflict of interest within the process used by the Biden administration and the General Services Administration (GSA) to choose Greenbelt, Md., as the agency’s new headquarters.
Wray told his staff that they previously agreed for the new headquarters to be in Springfield, Va., but an “exceedingly rare” move by a senior executive changed the location to Greenbelt, which is 13 miles northeast of Washington, D.C.
“This has been an over-decade-long process that GSA has conducted, it has been thorough and has been transparent,” Moore told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins in a Thursday night interview.
He said GSA had several criteria for the new headquarters and the land in Maryland fit all but one – proximity to the FBI’s Quantico, based in Virginia.
Maryland politicians decried the criteria as “not fair” earlier this year. The GSA later lowered the importance of the new headquarters being close to Quantico, making Greenbelt a more favorable option.
The chosen land is owned by a former employer, the Associated Press reported.
Competition between Maryland and Virginia for the bureau has been tumultuous. Virginia lawmakers are fuming over the decision, signing a letter that condemns the “deeply” disappointing decision.
Wray said it was up to Congress to review the decision, but Moore said confidently, “the new FBI building will be in the state of Maryland.”
“I was very clear that this was gonna be a core priority for our administration as we came on board and I’m so thankful for the work that Maryland did in unity with our congressional delegation to be able to make sure that the FBI building rightfully should be in the state of Maryland,” Moore said.
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