Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on the White House Friday to rescind David Chipman’s nomination to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms over allegations that Chipman “made racist statements about the abilities of African American ATF agents.”
Chipman’s nomination was already in jeopardy over his long-time support for gun control efforts. Biden, the New York Times reported earlier this year, nominated Chipman, who has “advised gun control groups” “in part because of his willingness to bluntly confront an industry that has handcuffed the agency, which enforces gun laws.”
Biden even announced Chipman’s nomination in a press conference where he unveiled his own gun control agenda, calling gun violence an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment.”
President Biden unveils several new executive actions, his first steps on gun control.
First, he says he’ll reign in “ghost guns,” or kits to build firearms, and have them “treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act.” pic.twitter.com/nbmmKDzG86
— The Recount (@therecount) April 8, 2021
The Reload, however, reported last week that Chipman is facing allegations of racism stemming from his time at the ATF in Detroit, Michigan.
Chipman was asked, during hearings, about two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints he received during his tenure at the ATF. Chipman said only that the complaints were “resolved without any finding of discrimination and no disciplinary action was taken against me.”
A conservative group, the Daily Caller reported, has filed a lawsuit seeking those complaints, after learning that records could be “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 reported last week that “multiple” ATF agents “back up the existence of a complaint alleging President Biden’s nominee to lead ATF, David Chipman, made racist comments during his previous stint at the agency. The agents, who have decades of experience at the agency, told The Reload they heard the accusation that Chipman denigrated black ATF agents up for promotion. The officials said they heard about Chipman’s alleged comments before they were referenced in a recent lawsuit seeking the release of the complaint.”
“He made some comments that he was surprised by the number of African Americans who have made it onto a specific promotional list,” an ATF agent told The Reload. “So, his insinuation was that they had to have cheated. Which is kind of despicable.”
Republicans demanded Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) order the reports released, and on Friday, McConnell wrote to the White House telling Biden to rescind Chipman’s nomination over the allegations.
“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 said, also per The Reload. “He said the claims combined with Chipman’s history of supporting strict new gun laws made him unworkable as an ATF director.”
“If the President won’t do the right thing, at the very least Senate Democrats must hold a second hearing and release Chipman’s entire record,” McConnell added. “The American people deserve the full truth about Mr. Chipman’s time at ATF, including especially these racist statements.”
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