The FBI HQ Blame Game

Maryland Democrats have been quick to attack Governor Larry Hogan over the Trump Administration’s decision not to move the FBI headquarters into Maryland. The project, which was slated on bring jobs and investment into Maryland was scrapped entirely, not given to another state. There have been concerns at the FBI that the J. Edgar Hoover Building, where the FBI is currently headquartered, is woefully ill-equipped to handle the modern needs to the Bureau. Moreover, FBI leadership has pointed to significant structural concerns at the building that must be addressed.

Of course the project, which would have brought billions of dollars of construction funding, jobs, and support into the Maryland suburbs of DC, was a political football from the beginning. In its scrapping, too, we see the blame game whip back into a fevered pitch.

The Maryland Democratic Party wrote on Facebook: “So, what exactly did Gov. Hogan do to stop his Republican friends in Washington from hurting Maryland’s economy?” Of course, we would expect the Maryland Democratic Party, whose myopic obsession with unseating Governor Hogan is overshadowed only by its visceral hatred of Donald Trump, to quickly assign any negative news to Republicans and Governor Hogan.

While, of course, the GSA is not a political arm of the Congress, which, we have to assume is what the Democrats meant by “Republican friends in Washington,” (because, if they mean President Trump, we should point out that Governor Hogan charted a middle path and decided against supporting Mr. Trump in the 2016 Election), that type of a fact would only get in the way of a good anti-Hogan screed. Let’s assume, despite the fact that it’s probably not, that the decision to scrap the FBI Headquarters move is political rather than practical. Why would the Trump Administration decide against giving Maryland’s economy a boost?

Well, as some conservatives have tried to argue, maybe Trump is getting back at Governor Hogan for not supporting his Presidential bid. While this is a tempting rabbit hole to jump down, there’s been almost no evidence of President Trump being vindictive since taking office—at least when it comes to working with Republicans who had been skeptical of his chances before his election. Moreover, there’s really nothing to be gained from the President sticking it to Governor Hogan when the President, objectively, benefits from having a Republican governor in a DC border state who can keep that state’s leftward-bound legislature in check. So, sure, it’s easy to think that Hogan is getting slapped on the wrist by Trump, but, the argument just doesn’t hold water.

It’s funny, of course, that Democrats want to have their anti-Hogan cake and eat it too on this issue. Either Hogan is some Trump-supporting fanboy, or Trump hates him and is slapping down a major investment in Maryland because Hogan didn’t play ball. Watching Maryland Democrats try to contort themselves into pretending that both of these fictions can exist simultaneously is mind-boggling. But, it’s the Maryland Democrats. They’ll say it with a straight face and then ask for donations with whichever version gets more support.

So, if this was a political move by the Administration, why wouldn’t they want to help Maryland?

Look no further than the cavalcade of constant anti-Trump nonsense coming out of almost every level of Democrats elected in Maryland.

Let’s start at the lowest level: Baltimore City. While we have praised the Mayor of Baltimore here for her willingness to work with the Administration, her City Council has stabbed her in the back with resolutions aimed at poisoning the well of cooperation. Their first act was to condemn President Trump. Since that point, they’ve actively opposed cooperating with the Justice Department over deporting illegal aliens and condemned the President’s plan to take the United States out of the flawed and expensive Paris Climate Accord.

On the next rung up the elected Democrat ladder, you have Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz defying federal law and endangering his constituents by trying to make Baltimore County a sanctuary for criminal illegal aliens and Montgomery and Howard Counties actively racing to defy President Trump and the Justice Department on the same issue.

The Democrats of the Maryland General Assembly, so filled with their hatred of Donald Trump, forced through legislation dramatically increasing the power of Maryland’s Attorney General in order to pursue their quixotic crusade against the President. If you ever have the time, read the Tweets of Maryland’s Democratic legislators. It’s mind-blowing how consumed their caucus is with President Trump.

Maryland’s Attorney General, Brian Frosh, has joined with the most-left-wing Attorneys General in the country to sue the Trump Administration over its pause in allowing immigrants from nations that are incapable of adequately screening individuals. Of course, this suit was slapped down in large part, without dissent, by the Supreme Court. Maryland’s Attorney General, undeterred, continues his frivolous legal attacks on the President (and, of course, the constant sniping at Governor Hogan—including his erroneous opinion to deny a salary to a cabinet appointee who was the subject of an overtly sexist attack by Democrats of the Maryland State Senate).

The preceding were just the Democrats elected for Maryland State offices. Let’s look at the Federal officials. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have voted against almost every single one of President Trump’s nominees to his Cabinet (and against Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch). Representative Jamie Raskin from the gerrymandered 8th Congressional District has called for the President’s impeachment. Representatives Cummings, Hoyer, and Sarbanes have been constantly outspoken critics of the President (Ruppersberger, Delaney, and Brown have also been critical online, but have, thusfar, avoided the limelight on Trump-related issues).

So, let’s recap. If you believe the Trump Administration scrapped the FBI Headquarters move over political reasons (for which, again, there’s really no hard evidence), was it because Larry Hogan didn’t vote for Trump last year or because of constant, incessant, public, and ongoing attacks by Democrats at every level of Maryland’s politics?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for a shakeup in Maryland politics.

Matt McDaniel

Attorney and Political Commentator

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