Of the myriad things that Democrats in Congress are investigating with the hope to “get” President Donald Trump, one was his alleged involvement in a decision by his administration to not follow through on longstanding plans to move the FBI headquarters from Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. to a site in Maryland or Virginia.
The Washington Times reported on Monday that the Trump administration had not sought any additional funding in the recently submitted proposed budget for 2020 for the original $3.3 billion plan to tear down the old FBI headquarters building and construct a new one in a different location.
Instead, the administration will continue discussing with Congress an alternative plan devised in 2018 that would cost only $2.2 billion to renovate and modernize the current headquarters building in the same location.
That alternative plan had drawn a lot of criticism from Congressional Democrats, some of whom accused the president of personally intervening and forcing the General Services Administration to abandon the plan to construct a new campus for the investigative agency outside of D.C.
Democrats have suggested that Trump purposely blocked the planned move because if it were to abandon its current location — just across the street from the Trump International Hotel — that prime real estate could conceivably be opened up to potential competitors to the president’s business interests.
As ridiculous as that allegation is, it served as the foundation for an investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Democratic Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Cummings has already sent letters to the GSA, FBI and Department of Justice demanding answers and information as to why the planned move of the FBI headquarters had been changed, as well as what role President Trump may have played in that decision.
Unfortunately for those Trump Derangement Syndrome-afflicted Democrats, that particular theory was just blown out of the water by the GSA itself, Reuters reported Wednesday.
As it turns out, the president had absolutely nothing to do with the change in plans, a change that was instead necessitated by the failure of Congress to appropriate previously requested funds to cover the new construction and demolition of the old headquarters building.
According to a chronology provided by the GSA, the FBI had full intentions of proceeding with the planned move in 2017 had Congress approved the agency’s request for funding in that regard.
“Unfortunately, when Fiscal Year … 2017 appropriations were enacted in May 2017, sufficient funds for the project were not made available,” the GSA said in documents submitted to Congress.
Thus, without funding for the move and construction costs, the FBI initially attempted to save funds on its own by reducing the number of employees in the D.C. headquarters but was ultimately forced to abandon the original plan and devise a new one that would include renovating and modernizing the current structure.
Reuters noted that there was no mention of President Trump whatsoever in the GSA chronology, signifying that he played no role in the changed plan.
That revelation would seemingly undermine the Democratic theory that the president personally blocked the planned move in order to prevent the occupied land across the street from his hotel from being cleared and potentially developed by a competitor.
Reuters reported that there was no immediate comment from Cummings’ office nor was the media outlet provided comment by the FBI or White House.
It remains to be seen if Congressional Democrats will accept this report from the GSA that clears President Trump of any involvement in the changed plan, or if they will continue to assert that Trump is allowing his family business interests to conflict with his job as president.
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