Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is refusing to reopen confirmation hearings on Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives nominee David Chipman because of his use of racist language. Chipman is alleged to have a complaint against him for using racially derogatory language. The complaint is not being made public, although litigation is underway to have it released.
Multiple ATF sources back up the existence of a complaint alleging President Biden’s nominee 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,” a current ATF official told The Reload. “So, his insinuation was that they had to have cheated. Which is kind of despicable.”
A former ATF agent who worked directly with Chipman said he heard the same story.
“That one had to do with what’s called the assessment center, which would be to get promoted,’ the former agent told The Reload. “Somebody would have had to file a complaint against him if he were a supervisor making those statements.”
Chipman acknowledges the existence of a complaint but declined to answer Senator Ted Cruz’s direct written questions about it. This has led to calls by Republicans to reopen the hearings to hear what Chipman has to say.
“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 official said. “So his insinuation was that they had to have cheated, which is kind of despicable,” an ATF agent told The Reload.
But Durbin said that The Reload had a “political agenda” in reporting the case.
After defending Chipman in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP senators demanding a new hearing, Durbin wrote, “Now comes the latest salvo — a claim published by an anti-gun safety website, allegedly based on the accounts of two anonymous individuals, that Mr. Chipman had made racially discriminatory remarks when he served at ATF. As with the other claims manufactured by Mr. Chipman’s opponents, there is no evidence to support these allegations.”
Stephen Gutowski, who runs the Reload, not only defended his reporting and sources, but he said that the serious allegations against Chipman must be heard.
There would certainly be “evidence” if the complaint against Chipman were made public. But that’s too much to ask a Democrat.
Does Dick Durbin have a double standard when it comes to presidential nominees and documents about their time in government service? Seems like he had one rule for Brett Kavanaugh and another entirely when it comes to David Chipman.
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) August 3, 2021
The magically disappearing accusation of racism is hardly a new phenomenon. It’s well known that if you want something politically damaging to disappear, simply give it to a Democrat. They’ll know just what to do.