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Tag: fbi headquarters

Charles Spencer Named Assistant Director of FBI’s International Operations Division

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Charles Spencer, a 21-year FBI veteran who most recently served as special agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office in Florida, has been named as the new assistant director of the bureau’s International Operations Division.

Spencer will manage the FBI’s legal attaché program at the division, where he’s tasked with building relationships with foreign law enforcement and intelligence partners. The division also trains international law enforcement partners.

Spencer’s long career with the FBI began in 1998, when he was assigned to the Washington Field Office, working on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In 2005, he was promoted to supervisory special agent, overseeing the FBI’s gun vault.

In 2007, the FBI deployed Spencer to Iraq.

A year later, Spencer served as the supervisor of the Oklahoma City Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. In 2011, he was awarded the FBI’s Shield of Bravery for an encounter with a heavily armed domestic terrorist.

In 2013, the FBI promoted him to assistant special agent in charge of the national security branch in the New Orleans Field Office, where he headed up programs covering weapons of mass destruction, counterintelligence, counter=terrorism, cyber-crimes, surveillance, and crisis management.

In 2015, Spencer became the deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.
A year later, Spencer was placed in charge of the Jacksonville office.

Before joining the FBI, Spencer earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He later became an engineer in the commercial nuclear power industry.

Congress to Investigate Trump Administration’s Decision to Scrap Relocation Plans for FBI Headquarters

U.S. Capitol Building

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The powerful House Oversight Committee will investigate the Trump administration’s decision to prevent the relocation of the outdated FBI headquarters.

Chief among the concerns is Trump’s role in the decision because the current headquarters is a stone’s throw from his Washington D.C. hotel.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed multiple lawsuits, claiming the president violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by tampering with American security to avoid damaging his business. 

Trump’s administration scrapped a longtime plan to move the headquarters to the suburbs and instead wants to build a new building where the current one stands. If the headquarters was relocated, a hotel competitor could replace the current building.

The GSA’s inspector general also has accused the agency’s administrator, Emily Murphy, of misleading Congress about the role the White House played in the project.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., will lead the committee’s investigation.

“We have a constitutional job to provide that because we’re a separate but coequal branch of government, and we got a mandate in November to do just that,” Connolly told NBC 4 Washington. “The public clearly wants checks and balances on this president — as they do on every president — and we’re going to take that mission very seriously and that constitutional oath very seriously. I take an oath every two years in this job, and I’m going to live up to that oath.”

Watchdog: Trump’s Intervention in FBI Headquarters Violates Emoluments Clauses of Constitution

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s bold decision to intervene in a plan to move the FBI headquarters, which is across the street from his hotel, may be a violation of the Emoluments Clauses of the constitution.

NBC News reports that it’s “the strongest evidence yet that the president of the United States is tampering with American security to avoid disadvantaging his businesses.” 

TickletheWire.com previously reported that administration officials, under “direction from the White House,” plotted to end a long-planned project to relocate the FBI to a new suburban campus.

“We cannot have the most powerful person in the world making national and domestic security decisions based on how his business might be impacted,?” wrote Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has already filed multiple lawsuits challenging the president’s “flagrant violation of the Emoluments Clause.”

Since 2005, the federal government has been planning to move the FBI out of its cramped, squalid headquarters to the suburbs. But doing so would put the current space up for sale to a possible hotel competitor.

“Were the bureau to relocate, its old space would be sold off to developers to cover some of the cost of the relocation, Bookbinder and Eisen wrote. “And that sale and redevelopment could mean competition for President Trump’s hotel or the restaurants inside of it, and correspondingly less money flowing into his presidential pockets.”

Watchdog Group Confirms Trump’s Involvement in FBI Headquarters Project

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The GSA administrator who is overseeing the construction of a new FBI headquarters may have misled Congress about President Trump’s involvement in the debate over where to build a new campus, according to a government watchdog report released Monday.

The GSA inspector general report also claims officials understated the costs of building a new headquarters in downtown Washington D.C. by suggesting it would cost less than the original plan of erecting a new campus in the suburbs. 

The current headquarters sits near Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel.

The GSA last year scrapped a plan to build a new FBI headquarters in the suburbs in favor of building a smaller headquarters in downtown D.C., which would require some staff to relocate to Alabama, Idaho and West Virginia.

The inspector general’s report concluded that testimony by GSA Administrator Emily Murphy “was incomplete and may have left the misleading impression that she had no discussions with the President or senior White House officials about the project.”

During the hearing, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., asked Murphy, “To your knowledge, was the president or anyone else at the White House involved in those discussions, either with your predecessors, people you’re working with now, or yourself?”

Murphy responded, “The direction that we got came from the FBI. It was the FBI that directed to GSA as to what its requirements would be. We obviously did coordinate, given that it is a substantial budget request, we coordinated that request with OMB to provide for funding but the requirements were generated by the FBI.”

The Post reports that Murphy had discussed the project with Trump, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and other White House officials

Some Congressional members accused Trump of intervening because his hotel is a stone’s throw from the FBI headquarters, and the president doesn’t want a competing hotel to replace the brutalist building.

Why Trump’s Intervention in New FBI Headquarters Could Be about Personal Gain

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Some Democratic lawmakers are accusing President Trump of intervening in the project to building a new FBI headquarters because the current building is a stone’s throw from his Washington hotel.

In February, Trump’s administration abruptly ended long-standing plans to build a new headquarters in the suburbs in Maryland or Virginia.

Some lawmakers say Trump has a personal stake in keeping the headquarters in Washington D.C. so a new competing hotel doesn’t take its place.

Trump recently became intimately involved in the project to build a new headquarters at the current site, ranting that the current building is “terrible.”

“Honestly, I think it’s one of the ugliest buildings in the city,” Axios reported Trump saying. 

“It’s no surprise Trump is fixated on the FBI HQ,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., tweeted. “Yet another example of his conflicts of interest. It’s prime real estate down the street from Trump International. He has business ties w/ one of the bidders. It’s why I asked the IG to investigate.”

General Services Administration watchdog Carol Ochoa is investigating

Sen. Ben Cardin

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., urged the president to let the GSA resume its original plans of relocating the building to a new site.

“The men and women of the @FBI have long needed a new headquarters, as the Hoover Building is crumbling around them,” Cardin tweeted. “@POTUS needs to let @USGSA return to the nearly-complete process of selecting a new suburban site for the #FBI and step out of the details.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., minced no words, suggesting Trump was choosing personal profit over sound policy.

“Trump has an obsession with renovating the FBI HQ at its current location—despite recommendations to find a more secure location,” Van Hollen tweeted . Could it be a new hotel there would eat into the profits of the nearby Trump Hotel? We should put the security of FBI before Trump’s pocketbook!”

Virginia’s Democratic senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said in a joint statement Monday the Trump’s micromanagement of the project is delaying a much-needed new headquarters. 

Sen. Mark Warner

“That’s one reason why it is important that we see the results of the IG investigation into this decision,” the statement reads. “Our hardworking law enforcement and intelligence professionals deserve a state-of-the-art and secure facility. Having President Trump micromanage this complex procurement—with so many other issues on his plate and so many questions about apparent conflicts of interest here—just isn’t helpful to these public servants or to the region.”

The White House responded that Trump’s involvement is intended to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately.

“The president is interested in making sure taxpayer dollars spent on new buildings are being spent wisely and appropriately,” Sarah Huckabee said in a statement. “He has been a builder all of his life and it should come as no surprise he wants to take the skills and great success he had in the private sector and apply it here.”

The FBI declined to comment.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., recently unveiled an infrastructure plan that could provide the funding required to allow the Trump administration to replace the crumbing, four-decade-old headquarters with a new one at the current site. 

Trump ‘Obsessed’ with Renovating FBI Building, Treating It Like Trump Tower Project

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump has become obsessed with revamping the FBI headquarters because he can’t stand looking at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C.

“The building is terrible” a source cited Trump as saying, Axios reported. “It’s one of the brutalist-type buildings, you know, brutalist architecture.”

Brutalist architecture generally refers to buildings with exposed concrete.

“Honestly, I think it’s one of the ugliest buildings in the city,” Trump reportedly said.

The source said Trump, who is known for micro-managing building projects in the private sector, reportedly wants to do the same with the FBI building, treating it like a Trump tower project.

But those projects don’t have the same level of security required for an FBI building.

“POTUS has interest in the issue and has met with FBI officials, but more importantly the GSA [General Services Administration] team. GSA has concerns that the building can’t be rehabilitated particularly given the security requirements and has relayed that to him,” the White House told Axios of Trump’s plans to renovate.

The FBI has been searching for a new headquarters for years, but funding problems continue to delay the project.

GSA to Investigate Trump’s Abrupt Change of Plans for New FBI HQ

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The General Services Administration’s inspector general is investigating President Trump’s abrupt change in plans for a new FBI headquarters.

“My office will review GSA’s decision-making process for the revised FBI Headquarters Consolidation project,” GSA Inspector General Carol Ochoa wrote in a letter to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, on Tuesday. “The scope of our review will include whether the revised plan properly accounts for the full costs and security requirements of the project.”

Connolly, a leading Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested the investigation to determine why the president abandoned a decade-long plan to move the headquarters to a consolidated campus in Washington D.C.’s suburbs.

Trump’s new plan calls for demolishing the current headquarters, which is cramped and outdated, and replace it with a new building.

Connolly and other lawmakers said the GSA has failed to give an adequate explanation for the sudden change in plans.

Trump Scraps Plans to Build FBI Headquarters in Suburbs, Offers $2B for Rebuilding in D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump scrapped a long-delayed plan to build a new FBI headquarters outside of Washington D.C. in favor of rebuilding at the current site.

Trump’s proposal calls for more than $2 billion for the building project, which must be approved by Congress.

The FBI submitted a report to the Senate on a “nationally focused consolidation strategy for FBI headquarters,” which recommends a new building on the site of the current one, which has become cramped and outdated

“The FBI believes this proposed consolidation strategy enhances mission resiliency, continuity of operations, and will provide the Bureau with the agility necessary to meet future needs,” the agency said.

The funding request is tucked inside the president’s 218 infrastructure plan.