Steny Hoyer neatly summed up his state’s sentiments on the FBI headquarters selection: “We’ve had the battle. We won.”
And Maryland’s political leaders took a victory lap Friday, after the General Services Administration announced earlier this week it would house the FBI’s headquarters in Greenbelt, Md.
“The GSA conducted a thorough, transparent and objective site selection process,” said Hoyer (D-Md.), who Gov. Wes Moore (D) called the quarterback of the decision. “An objective reading of all the facts led to the selection of the FBI headquarters at Greenbelt, Md., because it’s best for the country.”
Hoyer added: “… Those who didn’t win are upset. I get that. But the facts are the facts.”
The lawmakers spoke at a lectern that read: “Maryland, home of the FBI.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday he had concerns about the “fairness and transparency in the process” in a Thursday message to employees, claims that were seized upon by Virginia’s political leaders in urging a reversal of the decision.
Hoyer said an unnamed Virginia lawmaker approached him and said: “This was an unfair competition. … You had Moore. We had [Virginia Gov. Glenn] Youngkin.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) summed up why he viewed the decision as the right one: “The Prince George’s [County] site is ready for development now. Virginia doesn’t have that opportunity.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) slammed Wray for questioning “the character, the integrity and the independence” of the site selection process and said there are “no grounds for reversing this decision.” Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) called questions about the political appointee’s character from Wray “over the line.”
Angela Alsobrooks, the local county executive who’s seeking Cardin’s Senate seat, said: “This once in a generation investment is a tremendous honor, but it is not a surprise. … Serena Williams is not surprised when she wins Wimbledon. Kevin Durant is not surprised when he’s named an all star in the NBA.”
Virginia’s delegation issued a statement Thursday claiming a political appointee at GSA overruled the pick of Springfield, Va., for the headquarters and “irrevocably undermined and tainted” the decision and that it “must now be reversed.”
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