PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Politicians in Virginia are demanding answers after the Biden Administration picked Greenbelt, Maryland for the new FBI Headquarters.
“I think this is representative of, once again, not doing what’s best for America,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.), who was in Virginia Beach Friday, Nov. 10, to celebrate the opening of a new Veterans Care Center.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in a Zoom news conference, told reporters he learned of the latest developments by reading an article in the Washington Post.
“We have worked very hard over many years to make the case the Springfield location best meet the criteria for the future of the FBI,” Kaine said.
Kaine said a three-member panel, one from the FBI and two from the General Services Administration, or GSA, recommended the Virginia location in Fairfax. However, Kaine said a fourth person higher-up in the GSA weighed in on the selection process.
“The GSA took an unusual step of asking a higher official to review the recommendation,” Kaine said. “The unanimous recommendation of that panel. And that individual, whose previous employer is the owner of the Greenbelt site, overturned the panel’s unanimous recommendation.”
“The other shoe dropped, and it was more than a shoe — it was a bombshell,” said Kaine in response to an internal dispute about the Greenbelt selection.
Last month, in a letter, FBI director Christopher Wray, who prefers a D.C. location, rejected the Greenbelt plan and said the process was politically tainted. GSA responded by saying it’s moving forward with Greenbelt, Maryland.
The state-of-the-art building, as part of a complex, is expected to produce billions in revenue. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, applauded the selection.
“We’re excited about this because this is the right decision for the country, and this is the right decision for the FBI too,” Moore said. “And we know that because we are getting constant examples and reminders of the fact that we have to be able to move with a sense of urgency to get this building right.”
Moore said that there’s been an increase of hate crimes across the country in communities and places of worship, and that affordable transit during an increased focus toward cyber security is essential.
“Access to affordable transit is not just a bonus, it is a necessity to workers in the modern workforce. And in this time, and in this moment, there is absolutely no question the FBI belongs in the state of Maryland, and it belongs in Prince George’s county,” said Moore.
Kaine said the whole situation was shocking.
“The Administration should reverse the decision that they announced, and they should do what was unanimously recommended by the professionals who are in charge of analyzing the best site for the FBI,” Kaine said. “This is not over.”
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