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Tag: Steve Dettelbach

Kentucky County GOP Deletes Baseless Conspiracy Theory about New ATF Director

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

A county Republican Party in Kentucky removed a Facebook post that called new ATF Director Steven Dettelbach a “Jewish anti-gun activist.” 

The post by the Bracken County Republican Party baselessly claimed Dettelbach’s confirmation demonstrated the “Jewish junta” is growing in strength,” The Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

The U.S. Senate last week narrowly approved Dettelbach to serve as the director, making him the agency’s first permanent leader since 2015.

The county posted the conspiracy theory on Friday and quickly drew criticism. 

“A Jewish anti-gun activist, Steve Dettelbach, has just been made director of the ATF,” read the Facebook post. “The Jewish junta is getting stronger and more aggressive.”

The county party chairwoman, Karin Kikendol, later criticized the post. 

“Earlier today, I was made aware of an inappropriate post on the Bracken County GOP Facebook page,” Kirkendol wrote on Facebook. “That post does not represent the values of the Bracken County Republican Party. It was incredibly insensitive. We will investigate how this occurred and we commit to tighter oversight of our social media going forward.”

Anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories have been growing on the far right since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. 

ATF Nominee Dettelbach Makes Case for Leading the Agency

Steve Dettelbach testifies before a Senate committee. Photo: U.S. Senate

By Steve Neavling

President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, Steve Dettelbach, pledged to leave politics out of the job during a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, just two days after a mass shooting at an elementary school shooting in Texas. 

“Politics can play no role in law enforcement. None at all,” he said, according to CNN.

“I worked under Republican administrations, and I worked under Democratic administrations as a federal prosecutor and I have lived that credo and I vow to continue to do it because people need to have confidence that people in law enforcement’s only agenda is to enforce the law – and if you’re at the ATF to catch the bad guys and protect the public,” he added.

In his opening remarks, Dettelbach addressed the rise in violent crime. 

“We face many threats to public safety, both new and old,” Dettelbach said in opening remarks. “Violent crime is increasing, firearms violence and mass shootings are increasing, hate crimes and religious violence are increasing, as is violent extremism. If confirmed, I promise to do everything I can to enforce the law, to respect the Constitution of the United States and to partner with law enforcement to protect the safety and the rights of innocent and law-abiding Americans.”

Dettelbach called the school shooting “unimaginable.”

The ATF has been without a permanent leader since ATF Director B. Todd Jones led the agency from 2011 to 2015. 

After the hearing, the White House said in a statement that it’s critical that the Senate approve Dettelbach to head the ATF. 

“After being vacant for seven years, it’s never been more important to have a tough, experienced, leader like Steve Dettelbach at the helm of ATF to support the agents risking their lives on the front lines every day to protectthe American people. And as we saw with the tragic shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo – where ATF agents have played a key role in the investigations – and with daily gun violence plaguing too many of our communities, now is the time to provide ATF the leadership it needs to redouble its work to enforce our gun laws and make our communities safer.”

Dettelbach was confirmed by the Senate to serve as attorney for the U.S. District Court in Northern Ohio, a position he held from 2009 to 2016. He launched an unsuccessful campaign to serve as attorney general in Ohio in 2018. Since then, he has worked in the private sector for BakerHostetler. 

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Endorses Dettelbach to Lead ATF

ATF nominee Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

Steve Dettelbach, President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, picked up a key endorsement from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. 

The organization, which represents more than 26,000 law enforcement professionals from dozens of agencies, including the ATF, made the endorsement in a letter to senators obtained by NBC News.

In the letter, FLEOA President Larry Cosme said Dettelbach has a “proven history of working with law enforcement agencies, corrections officials, advocates, stakeholders, and elected officials across the political spectrum.”

He added, Dettelbach’s “dedication towards the advancement of public safety initiatives should go a long way towards restoring the public trust.”

Biden nominated Dettelbach, a former Senate-confirmed U.S. attorney, in April. Pro-gun groups immediately opposed the nomination. 

Biden’s first pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate for confirmation last year. 

The agency has been without a permanent leader since 2015. 

Biden to Nominate Former U.S. Attorney to Serve As ATF Leader

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

President Biden plans to pick a new nominee to lead the ATF after his previous nomination fell short in the Senate last year, Politico reports

The nominee is former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach, a Democrat who has advocated for reinstating the assault weapons ban and universal background checks on firearms purchases.

Dettelbach served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio from 2009 to 2016. He ran an unsuccessful campaign to serve as attorney general in Ohio in 2018.  

He has been working in the private sector for BakerHostetler, serving as co-leader of the firm’s national Whte Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations team.  

Dettelbach is married with two children. 

Biden’s first pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate for confirmation. 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.

The ATF’s acting director, Marvin G. Richardson, has been accused by gun control advocates of cozying up to the gun industry.