We are all familiar with the statement, “thieves of a feather stick together.” That other statement, “There is no honor among thieves” would seem to contradict it but it doesn’t. Just because a thief would turn on a fellow thief at the snap of a finger when her own goose is about to be cooked only tells us that until that time they will stick together as if conjoined twins.
Just an aside, did you know why conjoined twins used to be called Siamese twins. It an interesting history. Look it up here.
I don’t know if the name Emily Webster Murphy is familiar to you. She graduated from Smith College in 1995 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2001. She has had numerous responsible jobs in the U.S. government as shown here. She nominated by Trump to head of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Her nomination received a strong showing of bipartisan support with leaders from both parties praising her experience, qualifications, and commitment to public service. She was confirmed by the Senate on December 5, 2017.
After she became head of the GSA she met with Trump in the Oval Office. She is the woman in the photograph above.
Now you know Trump owns a hotel in Washington, DC. called the Trump International Hotel which is in the Old Post Office Building located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Nearby the Trump hotel is the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Building located at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
The FBI Building is falling down. Here is an October 2015 report about it. It noted, “Further retrofitting is prohibitively expensive; despite the Hoover building’s overall size of 2.4 million gross square feet only 53 percent of that is usable according to a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office.” (my emphasis) The article noted: “For more than a decade, leaders at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have warned that the bureau needed to replace the J. Edgar Hoover Building, . . . ” It told of inadequate space, crumbling walls, and overcrowding.
A plan had been developed by the GSA to interest some developers who would buy the building and in exchange would build the FBI a new campus somewhere immediately outside the DC area. Meanwhile: “The bureau has tried to make do with the Hoover Building despite tens of millions of dollars in overdue repairs. Inside there are not uncommon elements of older office buildings — peeling paint, ragged carpet, stained light fixtures — but there are also more laborious work-arounds.”
it was estimated that to turn the building over to a developer and have a new FBI campus built on the outskirts of DC might cost a new FBI campus could cost “between $1.4 billion and $2 billion while the Hoover building might fetch only $500 million.”. Congress wasn’t ready to fall for that so nothing was done. About 20 million was spent to scout around for sites. Two were proposed in Maryland and one in Virginia. The building is in need of $100 million in repair work.
Then Trump came to office. He got personally involved in the project. A developer interested in the deal would build a hotel which could compete with his hotel. He didn’t want that. The plans to move the FBI changed. The idea is to now do what was labeled three years ago as being prohibitively expensive. Trump’s press secretary said: “The President is interested in making sure taxpayer dollars spent on new buildings are being spent wisely and appropriately.”
It is estimated that “Constructing a new building on the lot would cost $3.3 billion, and a four-phase renovation of the existing Hoover facility would run to $3.8 billion, according to estimates included in the February presentation from the GSA.” That does not include the cost of housing the 11,000 FBI employees in temporary housing or the extra moving costs which is estimated to cost another half billion.
The GSA said it changed its mind about relocating FBI headquarters because the FBI requested it. Emily Webster Murphy testified before Congress about the plans. Here’s some background on it. Congressman Mike Quigley said, “Last April, I asked the GSA administrator under oath whether the President or anyone at the White House was involved in the discussions on this decision about the FBI building. She said no. The inspector general said that she misled us. I suppose that’s a DC euphemism for a lie. So I’d like her to come back before my subcommittee and answer that question accurately.”
It turned out Murphy had talked with Trump about the building. It was at the time the above photograph was taken. Why did she deny it? Lying under oath to Congress is a crime.
Congress now wants to hear from her again to get the complete statement. Quigley is giving her a chance to correct the record. The question is whether Trump will block her testimony to cover-up his role.
A couple of things are obvious: the new plan will probably double if not triple the cost of moving FBI headquarters, so much for saving he taxpayer money; and, people who appear to have led good lives for some reason change when they get close to Trump.