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Tag: Senate

Retired FBI Agent Vies for State Senate Seat in Texas

Retired FBI Agent Tim Reid. Photo: Campaign

By Steve Neavling

A retired FBI agent is running for a seat on the state Senate in Texas. 

Tim Reid, a Republican, is vying to replace retiring Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, The Amarillo Pioneer reports.

Reid worked as an FBI agent in Amarillo from 1986 to 2005, according to his press release. He now serves as director of athletics and campus safety at Ascension Academy in Amarillo, where he also teaches geopolitics, geography, and crime scene forensics. 

Reid previously served as a member of the Canyon ISD Board of Trustees. 

The primary election is scheduled for March 1, 2022. 

Biden’s Former ATF Nominee Says ‘It’s Easier to Buy a Gun Than a Beer’

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

Steve Neavling

David Chipman, President Biden’s former pick to lead the ATF, said the Senate’s failure to approve his nomination would exacerbate gun violence in the U.S. 

“I have, from 25 years as an ATF agent, and largely for ten years after that, committed myself to one thing: preventing gun violence in this country,” Chipman told “CBS Evening News” in an exclusive interview. “To oppose me must mean that you’re not for preventing gun violence.”

In September, Biden withdrew Chipman’s nomination after Senate Democrats were unable to get enough votes to approve him. 

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, had come under fire for his support of firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. He’s also a former adviser at the Giffords, a gun control group. 

Chipman said it’s too easy to buy guns in America. 

“I think the real conversation we’re having, and I want to be clear, is the fear is it’s gonna be harder for people who sell guns to sell guns absent any accountability for profiting from selling them to criminals and terrorists. The reality is in much of America it’s easier to buy a gun than a beer,” he said. “The problem is the gun industry profits by gun violence itself because it’s the fear that you’re gonna get shot, that you run out and buy a gun.” 

The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since 2015. Asked what the ATF needs to effectively combat gun violence, Chipman responded, “A leader, the funding to do their job, and the ability to support state and local law enforcement, which is why ATF was created in the first place.” 

Magnus, Biden’s Nominee to Lead CBP, Takes Hot Seat During Senate Confirmation Hearing

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, picked to lead CBP.

By Steve Neavling

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, President Biden’s nominee to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection, fielded tough questions about border security and immigration during a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday. 

Magnus sought to assuage some Republicans by signaling support for two of former President Trump’s most controversial policies. He said he would consider finishing some of the border wall that the Biden administration has stopped and indicated he supported the Trump-era public health order that authorizes the rapid removal of migrants and asylum-seekers without an immigration hearing, The Washington Post reports.

Magnus also told the Senate Finance Committee that border security should be balanced with humane treatment of migrants. 

“I think humanity has to be part of the discussion early and often throughout the careers of CBP members,” he said.

“We do our jobs enforcing the law, but how we engage with the public, even the public we may be arresting, is what defines us as professionals, and it’s something we have a moral obligation to do,” Magnus said. 

Magnus, 60, doesn’t need Republican support to advance to a full Senate vote as long as all of the Democrats on the committee back him. 

Magnus, who has served as Tucson’s police chief since 2016, was a vocal critic of some of Trump’s immigration policies and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

If confirmed by the Senate, Magnus has a tough job ahead of him as the nation grapples with a border crisis and the separation of migrant children from their families. 

Magnus also would be the first openly gay CBP commissioner. 

Biden’s ATF nominee David Chipman floundered in the Senate after every Republican and Angus King, an independent from Maine, refused to support him.

Chipman, Biden’s Failed ATF Nominee, Says White House Abandoned Him

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, said the White House abandoned him as his nomination floundered in the Senate. 

In his first interview since Biden withdrew the nomination, Chipman told The New York Times that he had no contact with the White House, leaving him feeling like he was on “an island.”

Chipman, 55, said the Biden administration’s sole focus was on convincing Sen. Joe Manchin III, a centrist Democrat from West Virginia, to support his nomination. In the end, Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, refused to become the final vote needed for confirmation. 

“Either this was impossible to win, or the strategy failed,” Chipman said. “This was a failure.”

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, came under fire for his support of firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. He’s also a former adviser at the Giffords, a gun control group. 

The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation put up an aggressive fight to stop Chipman’s nomination and spent more than $4 million in radio and TV ads in the home states of moderate Democrats and King.

Chipman’s nomination advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee after a 10-10 vote in June. But since then, Democrats had not scheduled a confirmation vote because they weren’t sure if Chipman had enough support. 

Chipman said he was surprised the White House didn’t speak with him during the process. 

“In the back of my mind, I always thought that there would be a Plan B, but so far there hasn’t been,” Chipman said. 

In early September, Chipman finally heard from the White House. Presidential adviser Steve Ricchetti called Chipman to express regret that the nomination didn’t have enough support. 

Wray Apologizes to Larry Nassar Victims for FBI’s Handling of Case, Pledges to Do Better

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in February.

FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized Wednesday for the bureau’s “totally unacceptable” failures in the Larry Nassar case, telling senators he had fired an agent who was involved in the case.

“I’m sorry that so many people let you down again and again,” Wray said to the victims while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I am especially sorry that there were people at the F.B.I. who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable. It never should have happened, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”

Wray’s testimony comes two months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”

After reading the report, Wray said he wasted no time firing Michael Langeman, who was a supervisory special agent in the Indianapolis Field Office. 

“When I received the inspector general’s report and saw that the supervisory special agent in Indianapolis had failed to carry out even the most basic parts of the job, I immediately made sure he was no longer performing the functions of a special agent,” Wray said. “And I can now tell you that individual no longer works for the FBI in any capacity.”

Star Olympic gymnast Simone Biles testified at the hearing and criticized the bureau for turning a “blind eye” to the sexual abuse that she and hundreds of other young athletes had endured at the hands of Nassar, the former national team doctor. 

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, but I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles, 24, said.

Wray said the bureau has strengthened polices and training for agents to properly handle abuse cases and pledged to ensure it never happened again. 

“On no planet is what happened in this case acceptable,” Wray said. 

Biden Plans to Withdraw Nomination to Lead ATF After Senate Support Fell Short

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

President Biden plans to withdraw his pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, after the nomination floundered in the Senate, The Associated Press reports.

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, has come under fire for his support of firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. He’s also a former adviser at the Giffords, a gun control group. 

Since no Republicans were supporting the nomination, Chipman needed the support of all 50 Democrats. Sens. John Hickenlooper, Colo. and Jon Tester, Mont., were among at least two holdouts.

The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation were putting up a fight to stop Chipman’s nomination and have spent more than $4 million in radio and TV ads in the home states of moderate Democrats and Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine.

Chipman’s nomination advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee after a 10-10 vote in June. But since then, Democrats have not scheduled a confirmation vote because they weren’t sure if Chipman had enough support. 

Without a permanent ATF leader, the Biden administration will likely have a more difficult time pushing forward gun control measures. 

Biden’s Nominee to Head ATF Advances After Split Senate Panel Vote

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday was deadlocked on whether to advance the nomination of David Chipman, President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF. 

With a 10-10 vote, the committee was split along party lines. But in the event of a tie, the nomination still moves to the floor. 

Republicans are expected to continue opposing the nomination of Chipman, who has advocated for firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons such as AR-15s. 

“David Chipman is a partisan gun control zealot who is advocating for restricting Americans’ Second Amendment rights in calling for a ban on the most popular rifle in America – to include those already in our homes,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement.

Chipman is a gun owner and former ATF agent. 

In April, the NRA announced its plans to oppose Chipman’s nomination as part of a $2 million campaign to fight gun-control measures.

Biden has faced pressure by gun control groups to pick someone to head the ATF, which has been without a permanent director since 2015 as the nation continues to grapple with mass shootings. 

As vice president, Biden recommended in 2013 that President Obama pick a Senate-confirmed ATF director. Obama followed through with the confirmation of B. Todd Jones in 2013, but Jones resigned in 2015, and the agency has been without a permanent director since. 

Whether Biden can muster the 51 votes required to confirm a permanent leader is an open question. Republicans have blocked ATF candidates who were far friendlier to the pro-gun base. 

Biden’s Pick to Lead ATF Faces Criticism Over Position on Gun Control

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

David Chipman, President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, faced strong criticism from Senate Republicans during a confirmation hearing Wednesday over his position on gun control. 

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, has advocated for firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. 

During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Chipman said he supports a ban on AR-15s, an assault rifle used in many mass shootings. 

“I support a ban as has been presented in a Senate bill and supported by the president. The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATF’s swat team and it’s a particularly lethal weapon and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons, I have advocated for,” Chipman said, The Hill reports.

“As ATF director, if I’m confirmed, I would simply enforce the laws in the books and right now, there is no such ban on those guns,” he added.

At the beginning of the hearing, committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill, warned Chipman that he would face criticism from Republicans. 

“Buckle your seat belt. You want to be the head of the ATF. Hang on tight. They’re coming after you, buddy,” Durbin said. “It’s going to be rough at times.”

And at times, it was. 

Chipman was questioned about an interview last year in which he compared the rampant increase in gun ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic to a zombie apocalypse. 

“Many see putting a committed gun control proponent like David Chipman in charge of A.T.F. is like putting a tobacco executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, or antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said.

During the hearing, lawmakers began getting news alerts about a mass shooting in San Jose, Calif. 

“It is not lost on me that there is another mass shooting,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said. 

In April, the NRA announced its plans to oppose Chipman’s nomination as part of a $2 million campaign to fight gun-control measures. https://www.ticklethewire.com/2021/04/22/conservative-republicans-nra-wage-battle-against-bidens-nominee-to-head-atf/

President Biden has faced pressure by gun control groups to pick someone to head the ATF, which has been without a permanent director since 2015 as the nation continues to grapple with mass shootings. 

As vice president, Biden recommended in 2013 that President Obama pick a Senate-confirmed ATF director. Obama followed through with the confirmation of B. Todd Jones in 2013, but Jones resigned in 2015, and the agency has been without a permanent director since. 

Whether Biden can muster the 51 votes required to confirm a permanent leader is an open question. Republicans have blocked ATF candidates who were far friendlier to the pro-gun base.