The FBI could be moving its headquarters to the Maryland suburbs, Virginia's governor says he wants more money for transportation, but doesn't say where he'll get it, and new developments arise in the probe of D.C,'s mayor. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney talks about the details of this week's big stories. Following are highlights.
On the latest into the investigation of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign: "Recently there seems as though there are two investigations going on: one by U.S. Attorney Ron Machen, and one by my Washington Post colleague, District reporter Nikita Stewart. Machen's investigation, of course, is the only one that counts, because he will decide ultimately whether to bring criminal charges to the mayor. But like most U.S. attorneys, he isn't saying anything. Meanwhile, however, Stewart reported this week that a list of campaign donors maintained by the Gray campaign included dozens of names not reported to the campaign finance officers, as required by law. So that's new evidence that the campaign had illicit support. The Post also quoted anonymous sources saying that the FBI was investigating allegations that the campaign workers promised city workers and contractors that they could make donations that would remain secret."
On what this means for Gray: "I think it means that there's just more suspicion about what went wrong in his campaign. Three from the campaign have already pled guilty. They didn't even fight the charges... There have been other reports that have added to this mountain of indication that there was a lot of illicit behavior and illegality in the Gray campaign. Until this is resolved, you have to think that there's a pretty good chance that he's going to face criminal charges."
On the FBI relocating its headquarters from downtown D.C. to Maryland's Prince George's County: "We're very early in the process. I argue that it should go to Prince George's because I thought that was best for the region as a whole. But obviously, a lot of jurisdictions are going to compete for this. And cost and security are going to be two top issues that will decide this. The FBI is definitely leaving its headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue. It would cost too much to fix that building, they say. And the land can be sold or leased to developers to turn a profit for the government. The District doesn't want to give it up, but it hasn't decided what alternative to propose. In the early going, it looks like the main competitors are Prince George's County, at a site near the Greenbelt Metro station, and Fairfax County, especially a site next to the Franconia-Springfield station. But Montgomery County might make a proposal, Loudon may make a proposal, and we'll just have to wait and see."
On Gov. Bob McDonnell requesting $500 million more each year for transportation spending in Virginia: "[The proposal] has two problems: first of all, it's not enough, and second, he didn't provide details. He's indicated pretty strongly he would propose indexing the gasoline tax to inflation. But there are a lot of politicians — the Republicans in his own party — that would oppose that."