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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump personally intervened to stop the FBI from moving its headquarters in Washington, D.C., to the Maryland or Virginia suburbs, emails made public Thursday reveal. The decision that the bureau will not move will help the president’s bottom line by reducing competition for his flagship hotel property located in the Old Post Office building across the street from the current FBI building.
The emails between officials at the General Services Administration, which oversees government-owned properties, and the FBI show that the decision to stop the long-running plan to move FBI headquarters to the suburbs and sell the sprawling, brutalist J. Edgar Hoover Building to developers for a mixed-use development came directly from the president.
In the emails, which were made public by House Democrats, officials discuss “what was decided in the meeting with POTUS,” “the President’s instructions,” and “direction from WH” following a January 2018 meeting about the plan.
“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,” Democrats on several House committees wrote in a letter Thursday. “He should not have played any role in a determination that bears directly on his own financial interests with the Trump Hotel. The GSA also should have taken steps to wall off the decision from improper influence.”
Back in 2013, Trump said he’d be interested in acquiring the land the FBI building sits on should the bureau move out of Washington. As president, he’s reportedly been obsessed with the building.
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