After FBI Director Christopher Wray and Virginia lawmakers accused a Biden political appointee of inappropriately interfering with where to site the bureau's new headquarters, the Wall Street Journal reports, Robert Erickson, acting inspector general for the General Services Administration, said Thursday heB would immediately probe the decision to relocate the FBI to Greenbelt, Md., after a decade-long site-selection process. A senior Biden appointee picked the Maryland location, overruling a panel of career GSA and FBI officials who had unanimously recommended a site in Springfield, Va., not far from a host of FBI operations at the Quantico Marine Base and other national-security agencies.
Wray blasted the GSA and cited a possible conflict of interest. The GSA commissioner who made the decision, Nina Albert, is a former vice president of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which owns the land now slated for the FBI headquarters in Greenbelt. Albert left the GSA in October after being appointed Washington, D.C.'s acting deputy mayor for planning and economic development. Wray said Albert had unilaterally changed the criteria at the last minute to benefit Greenbelt. The selection followed heated competition between elected officials representing Virginia and Maryland to secure the future site that will house at least 7,500 bureau employees and the bureau’s leadership, along with the economic development that will come with it. Virginia’s bipartisan congressional delegation, which requested the inspector-general inquiry, said the selection process was “fouled by politics” and encouraged Erickson to “move forward to complete a careful and thorough review.” Maryland’s congressional delegation said Thursday that Greenbelt was chosen because it is the best site. “Let us be perfectly clear: the new FBI headquarters project is moving forward,” the group said.