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Editorial: Virginia apparently got outmuscled on FBI selection

Maryland leaders seem to have pulled rank to get what they want

Maybe demands by Virginia lawmakers for an investigation will yield some fruit, but more likely, the decision by the U.S. General Services Administration will stick and the new headquarters of the FBI will be constructed in Prince George’s County, Md., rather than in Springfield.

Nobody can really be sure what played out behind the scenes – those who really know are likely to keep their mouths shut – but from the outside looking in, it appears that Maryland’s U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, aided and abetted by the likes of his close ally and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were able to see to it that the selection criteria were tweaked just enough to give the Maryland option (Greenbelt, to be exact) the edge.

Virginia officials, in a rare show of bipartisan spirit, predictably fumed and fulminated when the selection was made public.

“In making this decision, GSA has shamelessly caved to political pressure, putting blatant politics over the merits and amending the weighting of long-established criteria,” U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-11th) lashed out on social media.

(Interestingly, while many Virginia Democratic elected officials voiced outrage at what they believe is the intercession of a political appointee in the process, they never quite came out and said whose political appointee it was that gave Virginia the royal screwgie. Are there perhaps holdovers from the Gerald Ford, Harry Truman or Warren G. Harding administrations still lurking in the top echelons of the GSA? If not, that political appointee would be doing the bidding of one Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.)

Barring some abrupt U-turn in this saga, it appears likely this was a case of Virginia’s lawmakers – Republican governor and Democratic members of Congress – getting outhustled, outmuscled and outmaneuvered by supporters of the Maryland site who simply knew how to partake in bare-knuckled political pugilism to better effect.

It may not be pretty, it may not be what’s taught in civics class, but it certainly is the way of political life.