The announcement of the FBI's move of its headquarters to Maryland is under scrutiny over new conflict of interest claims.
A former federal official allegedly had unfair influence in pushing for the new location, according to a report by the Washington Examiner.
FBI headquarters feud intensifies after Wray raises 'conflict of interest' concern https://t.co/COYdNeBbEZ
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 12, 2023
"Nina Albert, who worked as a top Biden-appointed official in the General Services Administration, had the final say over the selection of Greenbelt, Maryland, according to public documents about the selection process," the outlet reported.
"The GSA, which manages federal workspaces, was responsible for overseeing the process of relocating the FBI's headquarters from its current site at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, an aging brutalist low-rise in downtown Washington, D.C." it added.
The contentious debate over a new FBI headquarters intensified further Thursday as the director said he was concerned about a “potential conflict of interest” in the site selection and the White House defended the process as “fair and transparent.https://t.co/M1N2RbIroa
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) November 10, 2023
"FBI Director Christopher Wray’s unusually sharp criticism came in an internal email to agency employees that was obtained by The Associated Press," PBS reported.
"It was the latest twist in a vigorous competition among jurisdictions in the national capital region to land America’s premier law enforcement agency," it continued.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 10, 2023
"While House principal deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton told reporters that the process was fair and transparent," the Hill reported.
“The 61 acres in Greenbelt is both the lowest cost to taxpayers, most transportation options for FBI workers, and we have the most assurances about the expeditious means with which a project could get underway,” she said.
The push for a new headquarters for the agency has been in the works for more than a decade.
The conflict of interest claim is not surprising given the massive battle by Maryland to secure the site, an effort adding millions of dollars to the state's economy.
The new headquarters is likely to continue a source of argument among lawmakers, especially those in Virginia who also pushed to obtain approval to locate the new FBI building in its state, adding to ongoing controversy with the federal agency over a variety of issues in recent years claiming that the FBI has become increasingly politicized.