FBI Leaning Towards Virginia for New Headquarters

FBI headquarters, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

The FBI prefers Virginia as the site of its new headquarters because of its proximity to the bureau’s academy in Quantico, Va., according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post.

“Distances matter when surging to a command post,” the FBI wrote in response to questions that Maryland leaders posed with the federal government in March. “From a time-savings and environmental perspective, it is meaningfully important to limit the need for the FBI workforce to spend several hours in a car commuting back and forth between locations.”

The General Services Administration ranked proximity as its top priority in deciding where to locate the new headquarters, which would house at least 7,500 employees. 

Maryland leaders responded by citing President Biden’s promises to use federal resources to promote equity, which ranked fourth in the GSA’s scoring system. 

Maryland leaders also pointed to Virginia Republicans’ criticisms of the FBI and Justice Department for investigating former President Trump. 

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, told reporters Thursday that “of the two jurisdictions, only one — Maryland — actually has a chief executive who has gone on the record and says he believes in the mission of the FBI.”

A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, appeared to dismiss Moore’s remarks, saying the benefits of Virginia are obvious. 

“Virginia is well-positioned to support the FBI headquarters with a diverse workforce, extensive transportation network and close proximity to public and private sector partners,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said. “Virginia’s competitive advantage is clear, and partisan attacks won’t change that.”

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