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Open Letter to Sen. Grassley on David Chipman’s ATF Director Nomination

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I’m not asking you to do anything more than this, for now, Senator. Please pick up the phone and direct a staffer to look into allegations raised on the same source site from which the world first heard of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking.” (Senator Chuck Grassley/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( Dear Senator Grassley,

As the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, you play a key role in making sure the interests of your constituents are represented on all nominations brought before the committee and that its obligation for advice and consent is executed with fidelity to the Constitution being the foremost consideration. I am writing to ask you to lead in investigating serious allegations apparently involving ATF Director nominee David Chipman posted at a source you are familiar with that needs to be aired and either dismissed or validated and pursued before voting on his confirmation.

You have no doubt received plenty of objections from gun owners and their advocacy groups that have provided you with numerous examples of why a career “gun control” advocate cannot provide impartial leadership. I have made the case of the nominee’s bias and outright deception in numerous articles and blog posts over the years. While I encourage you to familiarize yourself with all such observations and documentation, the reason I am writing you today is to call your attention to a matter that I’m not aware anyone else is talking about. It could be key to determining not just the candidate’s administrative qualifications, but his character and trustworthiness with authority and power.

I trust you remember the website CleanUp ATF. It is a site established and frequented by former and current ATF agents who became fed up with agency waste, corruption abuse, and fraud that they claim to have witnessed firsthand in the course of their duties and dealings with management. I personally have been trying to get Congress to pay heed to their allegations since 2009 when I asked the House Oversight Committee to investigate ATF corruption charges being made by whistleblowers and insiders. Being controlled at that time by the Democrats, my plea was ignored.

Had the representatives done their duty and provided oversight, the professional and personal risks of being exposed may have caused some in ATF management to think twice about implementing the murderous Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” scheme. As you know, Senator, the first indications that guns were being “walked” across the Mexican border with the sanction of ATF officials began with chatter on a CleanUp ATF post:

“1desertrat” Posted this on 22 December 2010

“Word is that curious George Gillett the Phoenix ASAC stepped on it again. Allegedly he has approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles from Tucson and Phoenix cases to be “walked” to Mexico. Appears that ATF may be one of the largest suppliers of assault rifles to the Mexican cartels! One of these rifles is rumored to have been linked to the recent killing of a Border Patrol Officer in Nogales, AZ. Can anyone confirm this information?”

It wasn’t until after I’d written another open letter, to the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee that you chaired, and began communicating with them and with the House Oversight Committee then chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, that whistleblower protections were extended to ATF insiders ready to give sworn testimony but fearful of retaliation.

I bring this history up not because it directly relates to the Chipman nomination, but to remind you of CleanUp ATF’s track record. When it came to Fast and Furious, the story could have remained buried had it not been for a true thread that, when pulled, unraveled the fabric.

That’s why you need to know what has been said about “Chipman” on CleanUp ATF, to see if once more the allegations prove out, and to ensure answers to questions are given under oath:

“When it was brought to the Bureau’s attention that Chipman had tried to grease the skids for former ASAC Stankoweicz(sp), the 5th floor was outraged and tanked the contract offer for someone who had so blatantly and publicly disgraced the Bureau. That did not prevent him from sliding into some other non-Bureau contracted position. The problem is, that Chipman has been manipulating the Bureau-sponsored contractor to pad the BQL with friends. The net effect is that the truly qualified people are not being considered for the positions. It has also been stated that Chipman has delivered HIS version of the BQLs for these contract positions, demanding his buddies be placed at the top of the list. Yep, fraud. That simple. Yep, the 5th floor knows.”

“Fraud” is a strong word. And just to clarify, that’s where the Director’s Suite 500 is located. I don’t pretend to fully understand the details, and I’m assuming “BQL” as used here refers to a “Best Qualified List.”

A word of clarification is in order here – I leave it to your staffers to determine that the “Chipman” referred to in the CUATF thread is the same person as the ATF Director nominee. Not having access to complete Bureau staffing, I am limited to circumstantial conclusions, noting his assignment during that time period (2009 – 2010 Office of Management, Financial Management – Washington, DC Field Assets and Resource Management Branch, ATF Special Agent in Charge – GS-1811-15), and seeing the Office of Management is highly-placed on the Eric Holder-approved organization chart.

A “Professionalism in ATF” thread at CUATF offers further insight into who “Chipman” is alleged to have “tried to grease the skids for”:

“Stankiewicz literally got caught trying to pull down his pants on Intel GS [name redacted here] during the Coatesville Serial Arson case [the same case which made national headlines].”

Especially in light of recent #MeToo developments where it is insisted that such past actions have present relevance.

It would be not just appropriate, but the Senate Judiciary Committee’s duty, to determine the truth of all the allegations posted on CUATF.

While you’re at it, you might also direct investigating staffers to determine if the now-infamous photo of an armed agent proudly posing in the rubble and ashes of Mt. Carmel is indeed a younger Chipman, as would appear to be the case. If so, you might ask him if such “hunting trophy” photos, celebrating the fiery deaths of men, women, and innocent children, are appropriate for someone who has taken an oath to a Constitution established “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Per The New York Times, “the Senate hearing is expected to take place in late May,” which further notes that Sen. Joe Manchin “a critical vote, has said he is favorable to Mr. Chipman.” There is not much time.

Then again, to put it bluntly, I’m not asking you to do anything more than your job, which at this point consists of asking a staffer to look into things – just like last time, with Fast and Furious.


David Codrea

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

The post Open Letter to Sen. Grassley on David Chipman’s ATF Director Nomination appeared first on


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