Biden Under Fire to Drop ATF Nominee David Chipman Over Allegations of Racism

Or leave five undecided Democrats to shoot for gun-control

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Pres. Joe Biden’s shot to get a gun-control lobbyist to run the agency tasked with taking away guns has hit far off target. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called for the president to pull David Chipman’s nomination for ATF director. And now Senate Republicans want a hearing on allegations of racism while working at the ATF.  It’s time for Biden to holster this appointment. 

After “The Reload” exclusively reported that current ATF agents know of allegations of racism in Chipman’s record, McConnell told Biden to drop his gun-control guy.

“In light of these credible allegations, and Mr. Chipman’s long record of anti-Second Amendment extremism, the President must withdraw Mr. Chipman’s nomination,” McConnell told The Reload.

Also on Thursday, all the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and called for a new hearing on the allegations. They wrote: 

It was indirectly reported in June that, according to an anonymous former ATF agent, Chipman said, “Wow, there were an unusually large number of African American agents that passed the exam this time. They must have been cheating.” Those allegations have now been corroborated by an additional public report of similar allegations, citing both current and former ATF officials. 

It was further reported that Chipman was pushed out of his position in the ATF’s Detroit Field Office, raising serious concerns about his ineffectiveness as a leader and performance as a law enforcement officer. In addition, the Biden Administration continues to coverup and hide from the public at least two EEO complaints filed against Chipman. 

The Republicans’ letter explained that Chipman’s nomination is still in the committee, and “it’s critical that we call him in for a public hearing to address these allegations before any move is made to advance his failed nomination to the Floor.” Read my story here on the process to get Chipman’s 50-50 committee vote to the floor. 

The Republicans also wrote that Durbin must call on the “Justice Department and Mr. Chipman to make public and transparent any such records referenced in these reports—in particular the two EEO complaints Mr. Chipman identified for Sen. Cruz and any related documents.” Read my story here on the “missing” EEO complaints and ATF personnel record. 

The Daily Caller originally reported on the racism allegations in June that were exposed in a conservative watchdog group suit:

FOIA lawsuit could produce records related to an incident around 2007 in which Chipman allegedly made a derogatory comment about black ATF agents performing too well on a selection exam.

“The Reload” then reported this week that active-duty ATF agents know of the allegations mentioned in the lawsuit. 

Battlelines Over Chipman

As I wrote last week, the Chipman nomination will be determined by the five undecided Democrats in pro-gun states:  Manchin (WVA), King (ME), Tester (MT), Shaheen (NH) and Sinema (AZ). (Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, who is married to Chipman’s employer Gabby Giffords, is apparently not recusing himself.) Read more about the current whip count in my story here. 

With Congress set for August recess soon, the debate over Chipman was heightened in DC this week. House Republicans are already loaded to impeach. Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) drafted articles of impeachment against Chipman and got 11 colleagues to sign onto them. 

Meanwhile, the anti-gun (nuke ‘em) liberals were pushing for Chipman.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about whether Chipman could get the votes: 

MS. PSAKI:  Well, I’d first remind people, as you well know, but for others, that not only is he a veteran of the ATF, but he’s somebody who has been a supporter of smart gun reform measures that could save lives of people across the country.  And we — the President felt quite confident in the — his qualifications and his ability to lead the agency at a time where it hasn’t been led for many years. 

Psaki is clearly promoting wishful thinking. While McConnell openly opposed Chipman on Second Amendment grounds, calling on the White House to pull the nomination is a higher caliber fight. Biden is under enormous pressure from his gun grabbing base to push Chipman to the end. But the president will lose all credibility on race issues if he allows this nomination to continue any longer. It’s time to pull the trigger and find a new nominee to run ATF who respects the right to keep and bear arms.


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Emily Posts: 

MAY 27- ATF Director Nominee David Chipman Wants to Confiscate AR-15 Rifles, Gun-control groups lobbying the divided 
JUNE 22- ATF Director Nominee David Chipman Missing Personnel Files, Senate vote on Biden pick without facts on government record
JUNE 24- Biden Previews Gun Control Enforcement Under ATF Director David Chipman, Senate confirmation vote no longer a clean shot  
JULY 20-  Biden’s ATF Pick David Chipman Will Undermine Gun Industry Cooperation, Senate showdown could result in gun-control laws not being enforced

Other media outlets: 

The Reload: McConnell Calls for Biden to Withdraw ATF Nominee as Judiciary Republicans Ask for New Hearing on Alleged Racist Remarks
Daily Caller:  ‘They Must Have Been Cheating’: Watchdog Group Sues For Records Relating To Derogatory Comments Biden’s ATF Pick Allegedly Made Against Black Agents
The Reload: ATF Agents Corroborate Existence of Racial Complaint Against Biden Director Nominee, Fear Reprisals and Hit to Agency Effectiveness
Newstalk KGVO - Congressman Rosendale Threatens Impeachment of Chipman on ATF

Senate materials:
Senate Committee on the Judiciary press release: Judiciary Republicans Demand Second Hearing, Information following Revelations of ATF Nominee’s Racist Comments about Colleagues
Committee on the Judiciary - Nominations (including David Chipman)
Chipman Senate Judiciary Questionnaire 

White House Transcripts: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, July 27, 2021

NSSF Materials:  
NSSF website on how to lobby against Chipman Chipman backgrounder

Gabby Giffords/Mark Kelly/Mike Bloomberg Groups’ Materials: 
David Chipman Linkedin page 
Confirm David Chipman for ATF Director: Video in support 
Chipman’s bio on Giffords website
Giffords website on how to lobby for Chipman

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Paid subscribers, do you think this is the end of the ATF Chipman nomination? Let's discuss in the comments. -Emily