Sen. Grassley asks DOJ Inspector General for info on ATF nominee over alleged 'racial animus'

President Biden's ATF nominee allegedly caused an unwarranted investigation into an African American ATF employee.
Sen. Chuck Grassley on June 17, 2020
Sen. Chuck Grassley on June 17, 2020
(Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz for records regarding President Joe Biden's nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman, regarding allegations of racially biased behavior.

Grassley wrote in a letter to Horowitz that he had received whistleblower reports that include a complaint that the ATF nominee filed with the DOJ Office of the Inspector General that started "an unwarranted investigation into an African American employee who he alleged, without evidence, cheated on an exam..."

The two-year investigation by the inspector general into the African American ATF employee "significantly impeded" his career "by barring him from promotion and commendations," Grassley wrote.

"The only indication that the examinee had cheated was that his answers to the hypothetical questions posed by the panel were 'just too good,'" the letter continued.

Grassley said that the allegations provide "evidence that Mr. Chipman acted upon alleged racial animus to effectively end the career of a longtime law-enforcement agent."

The inspector general's report on the ATF employee cleared him of wrongdoing.

Grassley wrote that the reports he received regarding Chipman "further corroborate allegations" that he "has exhibited a pattern of extremely concerning racially biased behavior."

In the letter, Grassley asked Horowitz to provide "all corresponding records and reports that were created regarding the investigation into" Chipman's complaint against the ATF employee.

The senator also wrote that he had "heard additional reports that Mr. Chipman was the target of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case involving race," and requested the DOJ inspector general provide any documents it possesses on the matter.