Maryland makes push to bring new FBI headquarters to Prince George's County

Leaders in Maryland made their case on Wednesday to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters moved from downtown Washington, D.C. to Prince George's County.

The team led by Maryland Governor Wes Moore, met with officials from the FBI and the General Services Administration (GSA) to persuade them to to choose a site in either Landover or Greenbelt.

In recent weeks and months, Maryland officials have argued that equity concerns should push the General Services Administration to pick one of the two sites in Prince George's County, which has a majority Black population. 

Officials expressed during Wednesday's meeting, that they were displeased with a recent move from federal official that added a site's proximity to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia as a new selection criteria.

 "We are certain that bringing the FBI to Maryland is the right choice," said Governor Moore during a press conference after the meeting. "It’s the right choice in terms of timeline and cost, it’s the right choice in terms of transportation, it’s the right choice in terms of advancing the FBI's mission and it’s the right choice in terms on equity!"

President Joe Biden signed an executive order in 2021 that made advancing racial equity through federal agencies a priority, a move that considers the effects of federal investment in certain underserved communities. Maryland officials say the addition of the new criteria undercuts President Biden's order.

"Do not make a mockery of the president nor his executive orders. We’re talking about making sure there’s a lens on equity and every single facet," said Governor Moore.

Other Maryland leaders, including Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, took part in the meeting and spoke afterwards.

"We believe that Maryland's sites allow us to achieve the equity that we’re talking about, the fairness that we’re talking about," said Alsobrooks.

Maryland Representative Glenn Ivey said the FBI moving to Maryland is long overdue.

"The evidence is clear that we ought to win on the merits," Ivey exclaimed. "It makes sense, it’s long overdue, decades overdue as a matter of fact.

The GSA says it will select the new FBI headquarters location using five criteria: weighted most at 35% is serving the FBI mission, including proximity to the FBI Academy in Quantico and the Justice Department. Transportation access is weighted as 25%. Development flexibility is weighted as 15%. Promoting racial equity and sustainable siting is weighted as 15%, and cost to acquire and prepare the site is weighted as 10%.

The Greenbelt site features a 61-acre site with access to the Greenbelt Metro, walking and biking trails and nearby homes.

The proposed Landover site features 80 acres of land at the site of the former Landover Mall. The location is close to FedExField and is also along the Metro Blue Line Corridor.

Last month, Virginia leaders made their push to relocate the FBI headquarters to a site in Springfield. The group highlighted infrastructure, Metro and railway access, and an existing facility could also be converted to fit the needs of both the FBI and GSA. The Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency, Quantico FBI training academy, and Transportation Security Administration headquarters are also nearby.

Virginia officials are expected to meet with the FBI and GSA on Thursday.

A timeline for the decision has not been announced. According to Governor Moore, officials informed Maryland leaders that a final decision could be coming soon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report