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News ID: 28041
Publish Date: 10:07 - 28 August 2018
TEHRAN, August 28 - US General Services Administration (GSA) chief Emily Murphy may have misled Congress about President Donald Trump’s involvement in scrapping plans to relocate FBI headquarters, the GSA Inspector General concluded in a report.

TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - "We found that Administrator Murphy’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 said on Monday.

At issue is Murphy’s April 17, 2018 testimony before House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, in which Murphy was asked at least twice whether Trump and senior White House officials were involved in the decision to keep the FBI headquarters building in downtown Washington.

The GSA, which manages US government property, had developed plans over the past 14 years to relocate FBI headquarters to a secure suburban campus that could be hardened against potential terrorist attacks.

In the summer of 2017, however, the Trump administration abruptly changed direction, deciding to tear down the existing FBI headquarters and construct a new building at the same location.

US Lawmaker Gerry Connolly called Monday on US Congress to investigate Trump’s involvement in a decision to cancel a planned move of the FBI headquarters from its present location across the street from the Trump International Hotel to a suburban campus.

"I am calling on the [US House of Representatives] Oversight and Government Reform Committee to convene immediate hearings on this matter and to subpoena any GSA [General Services Administration] officials who are suspected of misleading Congress on Trump's role in the decision," Connolly said in a press release.

Connolly said he suspected Trump was more involved in deciding the future FBI headquarters location than GSA officials indicated in 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," Connolly said.

The IG report also found that the GSA provided inaccurate cost estimates of the project, claiming that the new plan would cost less than moving FBI headquarters out of downtown Washington by understating costs of the revised plan by $516 million.

The GSA had finalized plans prior to Trump’s election to move the agency’s headquarters to one of three locations in the Washington, DC suburbs, one in Connolly's home state of Virginia and two in Maryland.

Meanwhile, the Trump International Hotel is the focus of multiple lawsuits claiming that Trump is benefiting financially from foreign guests who stay at the hotel, violating a provision in the US Constitution that prohibits the president from receiving benefits from foreigners without permission of Congress.

Trump has said he will donate all hotel profits from foreign guests doing business with the US government to charity.

Source: Sputnik News

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