When the eleven GOP senators who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a demand for another hearing into President Biden’s nomination of gun control lobbyist David Chipman to head the nation’s firearms regulatory agency last week, they couldn’t have expected that they’d get what they wanted. Not after lawsuits have been filed and former ATF agents have corroborated charges that Chipman made racist comments about fellow agency employees and was the target of two EEOC complaints.
It would be a shame if those EEOC complaints were to somehow be leaked to the press.
Yesterday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, shut down the idea of another hearing with extreme prejudice. He responded with a letter (PDF) to the GOP members of the committee, calling the attempts to uncover the details of Chipman’s problematic ATF employment history part of “vitriolic, baseless attacks against a highly qualified nominee.”
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.
Senator Dick was referring to Stephen Gutowski’s article corroborating the allegations at The Reload. Durbin couldn’t even bring himself to type the words, “gun control.” That term, after all, is no longer in the official civilian disarmament lexicon, hence the use of the laughably awkward “anti-gun safety” moniker.
Anyway, you can understand why the senior Senator from Illinois would be so outraged by all of this. After all, he’s an old hand at the confirmation sabotage game and was among the Senate Democrats who called on President Trump to pull the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court based on, well, whatever. He doesn’t like it when Republicans use the Democrats’ own playbook against his party’s nominees.
So there’s no way in hell he’s going to allow a second hearing into Chipman, someone who made millions lobbying for limits on Second Amendment rights. Another hearing would get far more media attention, might spin out of Democrats’ control, and could finally put an end to the laughable nomination of the worst nominee to head the ATF in the agency’s sordid history.
As Senator Dick concluded his letter . . .
The Committee will not hold a second hearing on Mr. Chipman’s nomination based on baseless allegations by anonymous sources published in venues with an obvious agenda. ATF needs a Senate-confirmed leader, and Mr. Chipman is well-qualified and has been extensively vetted for the role. He deserves to be confirmed. And it is my fervent hope that Committee Republicans will quit embracing anonymously-sourced efforts to smear Mr. Chipman.
We love the smell of desperation in the morning.