CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | [email protected]
Washington—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) sued the General Services Administration (GSA) today for its failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking communications concerning the GSA’s abrupt decision to cancel plans to move the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters from its Washington, D.C. location.
After years of planning and millions of dollars spent, last July the GSA announced its sudden and unexpected decision to cancel the “new FBI headquarters consolidation project,” which would have moved staff working in the current FBI building located in downtown D.C. to a more secure suburban campus, and would have likely replaced the downtown building with housing, offices, retail and probably a luxury hotel that would have competed with President Trump’s. The motivation for the move remains unclear. CREW submitted a FOIA request on July 12, 2017, seeking communications explaining the GSA’s decision, but the GSA has yet to respond.
“This administration has been shrouded in a cloud of uncertainty since it began,” said CREW Chief FOIA Counsel Anne Weismann. “Cancelling this project that has been in the works for some time is a highly unusual move, and the American people deserve to know the motivations behind it.”
Last week, the GSA announced that instead of relocating the FBI headquarters to a new location, it planned to rebuild on the FBI’s current headquarters at a cost nearly $2 billion more than the previously estimated cost of relocating the FBI in 2017.
“These questions regarding the GSA’s motivations could have been cleared up instantly had they responded to our FOIA request,” Weismann said. “We have to wonder why they refuse to respond to our request and clear the air.”