By faustasyan shutterstock  photo ID: 365684687 FBI HQ J EDGAR HOOVER building

Democrats: Trump halted FBI move to protect his commercial property

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.

Reader comments

Fri, Oct 19, 2018

It's good to be the King.

Fri, Oct 19, 2018 Puregoldj Bethesda, MD

Before we even get to the extremely obvious conflict of interest there: (1) the GSA contract he has on his hotel explicitly forbids the owner of the development to be an elected official (Trump signed the contract in 2013, before he began his presidential campaign, but that clause is standard in these type of GSA contracts); (2) the emoluments clause in the US Constitution forbids the President from getting any payments from foreign governments, which he is getting whenever foreign diplomats or government officials stay there. Some have even said that since he's the President, it would be rude NOT to stay there. Congress???

Fri, Oct 19, 2018

I realize that it's trivial, but the Trump Hotel is not across the street from the FBI headquarters, it's a block away. Makes you wonder how carefully you check other "facts".

Fri, Oct 19, 2018 Steven Sullivan

There are more maybes in this none story than facts. So who was going to compete answer a maybe someone. So was decision based on saving the cost of moving or did senior people at FBI not want to move. If I remember it was a democrat from Maryland that wanted it moved to bring in more jobs and tax dollars. What is the motivation to move it? and who was behind the proposed move that is the real story. But lets for get about the real story lets make one up it is easier than good old fashion journalism.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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