President Joe Biden’s nominee to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) faces some new hurdles in his appointment process. In addition to multiple questions around his fidelity to the Constitution, David Chipman is also alleged to have engaged in racial bias.
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley wrote to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz on August 11 to advise that he had whistleblower reports indicating that Chipman has shown a pattern of “extremely concerning” behavior indicating racial bias.
Grassley cited, in particular, a situation in which Chipman filed a formal complaint that led to an “unwarranted investigation” of an African American federal employee. Chipman alleged without any evidence that the employee cheated on an exam for promotion in his employment.
The senator added that there was no indication that the employee had cheated on the exam. The only apparent complaint was that the answers given to hypothetical questions were “just too good” for Chipman.
The whistleblower reports indicated that the employee suffered significant impediments in advancing his career because of Chipman’s targeting. The cheating investigation instigated by Chipman placed all commendations and promotions on hold.
Grassley also wrote that the whistleblower provided evidence that Chipman attempted to end a “longtime law-enforcement agent” career because of racial hatred. The targeted employee was provided a final letter of clearance after a full investigation by the DOJ into Chipman’s allegations.
Grassley also told Horowitz that more information regarding Chipman is needed to evaluate his nomination due to the “growing number of allegations” about him. The senator’s letter seeks additional records and written responses to questions about Chipman’s history of racially discriminatory conduct.
Chipman’s appointment was immediately controversial as a result of his anti-Second Amendment record. He supports a federal law banning all AR-15 rifles and “assault weapons,” as stated in 2019 sworn testimony before Congress.
Chipman has left no doubt about his positions through his statements. He has said that the FBI and other federal agencies should have the power to confiscate weapons from Americans based only on what he would characterize as “hate speech” on the internet.
While the Biden administration might brush aside First and Second Amendment concerns, if it turns out that Chipman is also guilty of racially motivated retaliation in the workplace, his nomination may finally crash upon the rocks.