Virginia’s senators pan Trump’s interference in new FBI headquarters project

For five years, the federal government has been planning for a new FBI headquarters to replace the J. Edgar Hoover building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

A location in Springfield was among three finalists for a new building to house all 11,000 Washington-area FBI employees, according to a statement Monday from U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, both Democrats.

Last summer, though, President Donald J. Trump’s administration put the brakes on that process and instead wants  “to demolish the existing FBI headquarters in Washington and build a new facility in its place,” Kaine and Warner wrote.

“Having President Trump micromanage this complex procurement – with so many other issues on his plate and so many questions about apparent conflicts of interest here – just isn’t helpful to these public servants or to the region,” they said.

The General Services Administration has estimated that the new plan would cost $3.3 billion.

The Washington Post reports that Trump has taken a “personal interest” in the project. His Trump International Hotel is a block away.

“The president is interested in making sure taxpayer dollars spent on new buildings are being spent wisely and appropriately,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Post. “He has been a builder all of his life and it should come as no surprise he wants to take the skills and great success he had in the private sector and apply it here.”

 

 

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Robert Zullo
Robert has been winning and losing awards as a reporter and editor for 13 years at weekly and daily newspapers, beginning at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., where he was a staff writer and managing editor. He spent five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.