Democrats: Trump halted FBI move to protect his commercial property
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Oct 18, 2018
A group of House Democrats believe that President Trump halted plans to move the FBI headquarters—which is located across the street from Trump International Hotel—out of Washington, D.C., because of his own personal business interests.
In a letter to General Services Administrator Emily Murphy, the lawmakers allege that before he was elected, Trump had publicly supported relocating the building to a D.C. suburb, so that he then could purchase the land and redevelop it, but since he is now ineligible as a federal employee to obtain the property, another private developer could purchase the land instead of the president— and possibly a direct competitor with Trump's property.
The lawmakers also said there is documented evidence that Trump was directly involved with the decision, including meeting with FBI and GSA officials shortly before the plan was scrapped.
"Given this background, President Trump should have avoided all interactions or communications relating to the FBI headquarters project to prevent both real and perceived conflicts of interest," they wrote in the letter. "He should not have played any role in a determination that bears directly on his own financial interests with the Trump hotel," they added.
The new plan, according to the lawmakers, will cost millions more than relocating the building and will also have 2,306 fewer employees.
They want Murphy to provide a “legitimate justification” reason for the decision, as well as Trump’s role.
Read the full letter here.