Update: Chipman's confirmation is 'no longer a clean shot,' according to Miller.
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Authored by Emily Miller via Emily Post News (emphasis ours),
Gun-control advocate David Chipman is on track to be confirmed as ATF director, even though his government personnel record is hidden from the public. Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are expected to vote Thursday to move Pres. Joe Biden’s nominee to the floor. Opponents to Chipman’s confirmation say the process cannot keep moving forward without getting his personnel files from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The key files would confirm Chipman’s denial that he lost control of his duty weapon and that the substance of the EEO discrimination complaints against him were unfounded. He said all allegations are false. Chipman worked at the ATF from June 1988 to May 2012. Since then, he’s worked for anti gun groups run by Mike Bloomberg and Gabby Giffords.
We last saw Chipman during his nomination hearing on May 26. Click here to read my story on Chipman being forced to admit on the record that he believes AR-15 style rifles should be confiscated from Americans and his other radical ideas. The Democrats cleverly put Chipman in a hearing with several other nominees in order to limit the time he could be questioned on video.
During the weeks that have passed, Republican senators have sent follow-up questions for Chipman to respond in writing. The questions and lack of answers are disturbing about what the senators seem to know but need proof.
Government personnel files don’t disappear. The newer federal government personnel records are electronic. The older, paper ones are in the National Archives and can easily be retrieved by request. Those are then scanned and put into the electronic system.
Mark Oliva is Director of Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the firearms manufacturers and licensed gun dealers who deal with ATF every day. “Chipman has the opportunity to be completely open and honest with the American public by releasing his personnel file to the Senate Judiciary Committee but has chosen not to,” Oliva told me on Tuesday.
“This is demonstrative of his unwillingness to be truthful and falls far short of the level of trust required of the position of public trust to which is is nominated,” added Oliva on behalf of the NSSF. “He is unqualified and unworthy of this position of authority to lead a law enforcement and regulatory body.”
There must be a reason that ATF has not turned over all the files to the Senate. That’s what Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wanted to know when he sent written follow-up questions to Chipman.
CRUZ: Are you willing to make your full personnel file from your time at ATF available to the Committee?
CHIPMAN: My ATF personnel file is under the control of the federal government. As a nominee and private citizen, I have submitted more than 2,000 pages of responsive public and private records to the Committee. If I am confirmed, I will continue to be responsive and transparent with the Committee to the best of my ability, consistent with Department policies and practices.
You can see that Chipman sidesteps answering whether he would make public his personnel file if he is confirmed. What is the secret?
Cruz also got Chipman on the record about the key allegations. The Texas Republican first focused on the allegation of a missing gun.
CRUZ: While you were at ATF, did you ever lose, misplace, or have your service weapon stolen? If so, please explain the circumstances, the results of any pending investigation(s), whether the firearm or firearms were ever recovered, and any disciplinary action taken.
CRUZ: While you were at ATF, were you ever the subject of any disciplinary actions? If so, please explain.
This next line of questioning is about the employment discrimination complaints against Chipman that have not been seen by senators.
CRUZ: While you were at ATF, were you ever the subject of any EEOC complaints? If so, please explain.
CHIPMAN: During my 15 years as a manager at ATF, I received two EEO complaints. Both complaints were resolved without any finding of discrimination and no disciplinary action was taken against me.
CRUZ: While you were at ATF, were you ever the recipient of any formal or informal counseling as the result of allegations of inappropriate or unlawful behavior?
If Chipman is telling the truth under oath that the EEO complaints against him were without merit and showed no discrimination, why doesn’t he want the public to see them? One would assume his accusers’ names would be redacted, so if the only reason is that the false complaints would unfairly make him look bad, then the records can be sealed for only senators to view.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) broadly asked Chipman about hate crimes, which is likely connected to the allegations in the EEO complaints.
To read Chipman's exchange with Tom Cotton and Sen. Mike Lee, click here and subscribe.