DES MOINES, Iowa – During the executive business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Committee’s ranking member, urged another hearing for David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Media reports show that Chipman failed to disclose an appearance on China Global Television Network (CGTN), a network controlled by the communist government, in 2012 to discuss the U.S. government’s response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 28 people dead and two people wounded.
China used the media hit as propaganda to cover up a mass stabbing of 23 children at a school in China’s Henan Province that happened on the same day as the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice required CGTN, as a propaganda wing of the Chinese Communist Party, to register as a foreign agent under Foreign Agents Registration Act.
In June, it was indirectly reported 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 claims, citing current and former ATF officials.
Grassley and Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans requested another hearing which committee chairman, U.S. Senator Dick Durban, D-Ill., declined. However, they renewed that request, and Grassley brought it up during the executive business meeting on Thursday morning.
“As we noted in our most recent letter, it seems every day there’s new information showing how unfit he is for this role. Yesterday we learned that Chipman failed to disclose a TV hit he did with a Chinese government station. Think Russia Today but Chinese Communist. The video is on the Internet for anyone to see. In it he simply nods along as Chinese propagandists paint the United States as a violent war zone. His positions in the video don’t seem all that different from what he says often, but it’s one thing to criticize the laws and culture of your country to a domestic political audience, it’s another thing entirely to do so in the service of a foreign antagonist. The Chinese Communist Party isn’t interested in reforming America’s gun laws; it’s interested in weakening its primary global competitor by sowing political discord. This should be obvious and yet apparently it wasn’t for Chipman. He needs to address this—and perhaps he would have last time had he not left the appearance off his questionnaire,” Grassley said.
“Just last week we also saw corroboration of allegations that Mr. Chipman had made racially insensitive comments while in Detroit. The chairman shot the messenger, as it were, by dismissing the corroboration as having come from a pro-Second-Amendment website, but the fact is that there are numerous agents, current and former, on and off the record, who attest to these allegations—as well as other problems with Chipman’s time in Detroit,” he added.
Grassley noted that Republicans on the Committee did not request a second hearing until rumors they heard were confirmed by independent reporting.
“Now that we have that corroboration we should hear from Chipman about his time in Detroit and the chairman should help us get the secret documents we need from the Justice Department to see what really happened at the time period in question. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, after all,” he said.
“These corroborated allegations and his Chinese propaganda video go beyond Mr. Chipman’s policy views to his character, effectiveness, and judgment. If the administration is going to insist on this nominee to lead ATF, I think the Committee needs to, at minimum, ask him more questions,” Grassley urged.