Connolly Statement on today’s GSA IG Report on the FBI Headquarters Decision
Calls for hearings and subpoenas to GSA officials who misled Congress under oath
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Vice Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released the follow statement on today’s GSA Inspector General’s report on the FBI headquarters decision. Connolly requested the report in February 2018.
“I initiated the Inspector General’s investigation into the procurement of a new consolidated headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). I did so because I was concerned that the Administration’s decisions to cancel and amend the procurement would further delay the delivery of a new FBI headquarters and cost taxpayers more money.
I also suspected that President Trump was more involved in this procurement than Administration officials were letting on in their sworn testimony to Congress. The Trump International Hotel is across the street from the J. Edgar Hoover Building, and the Trump Organization has a longstanding and documented interest in the Hoover property.
Unfortunately, this report substantiates my concerns on all counts.
This IG report demonstrates that Administration officials obscured the White House’s involvement in the FBI headquarters project. According to the IG, “the GSA Administrator’s testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on April 17, 2018, was incomplete and may have left the misleading impression that she had no discussions with the President or senior White House officials in the decision-making process about the project.” In fact, the IG reports that there are actual photographs of the GSA Administrator, the FBI Director, and others meeting with the President regarding the FBI headquarters project on January 24, 2018.
The report also finds that “GSA did not include all of the costs in its Revised FBI Headquarters Plan, and that the new demolish and rebuild plan would cost more than the cancelled exchange plan.” The IG estimates that the Funding Gap Analysis GSA provided to Congress for its revised plan to rebuild on the Hoover site underestimated the cost of that option by as much as $516 million – nearly a quarter of the original shortfall estimate.
When we began this investigation, the prospect that President Trump was personally involved in the government-led redevelopment of a property in close proximity to the Trump Hotel was dismissed as a conspiracy theory. Now, the president’s involvement in this multi-billion-dollar government procurement which will directly impact his bottom line has been confirmed by the White House Press Secretary and government photographs.
This IG report is only the beginning. We must develop a comprehensive understanding of the President’s involvement in this procurement and what it has cost the United States in terms of both national security and taxpayer dollars. I am calling on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to convene immediate hearings on this matter and to subpoena any GSA officials who are suspected of misleading Congress.
Regarding the future of this procurement, we must wipe the slate clean in light of these troubling revelations. The GSA and FBI must return immediately to the plan for a fully consolidated FBI headquarters at one of the sites selected as part of the original procurement. The hardworking men and women of the FBI deserve a functional headquarters without further delay.”
The IG report found that GSA did not include all of the costs in its Revised FBI Headquarters Plan, and that the new demolish and rebuild plan would cost more than the cancelled exchange plan. In addition, the report found that the GSA Administrator’s testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on April 17, 2018, was incomplete and may have left the misleading impression that she had no discussions with the President or senior White House officials in the decision-making process about the project.
The report can be found here.