Jan 18, 2013 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says President Obama’s nomination of B. Todd Jones to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) raises “serious questions” because of Jones’s ties to the Fast and Furious scandal.
Jones has been acting director of the ATF since August 2011, replacing Kenneth Melson, who resigned amid the guns-to-Mexico investigation. On Wednesday, announcing his “executive actions” on gun control, Obama said he would nominate Jones to hold the job on a permanent basis.
“Since Congress hasn’t confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in six years, they should confirm Todd Jones, who will be — who has been acting director, and I will be nominating for the post,” Obama said.
Although Jones replaced the ATF leadership team, he still has come under scrutiny for comments he made earlier this year in a video message to the ATF’s 5,000 employees.
As first reported by The Washington Guardian in July 2012, Jones called for “One ATF, everybody working together, exemplifying one of the pieces of our leadership philosophy, that being teamwork.” Later in the video he said, “Choices and consequences means simply that if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don’t respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences.”
On July 18, 2012, Grassley and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wrote a letter to Jones raising concerns about his videotaped comments:
They noted that if it weren’t for whistleblowers, the Fast and Furious scandal might never have come to light:
“Your ominous message – which could be interpreted as a threat – is likely to have a major chilling effect on ATF employees exercising their rights to contact Congress,” the letter said. “Therefore, it needs to be clarified.”