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Tag: B. Todd Jones

GOP Resistance to Confirming Todd Jones as ATF Director is Stiffening

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anyone who follows politics inside the Beltway knows the confirmation process for ATF director, by it’s nature, is challenging.

That’s certainly the case with Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who has been the acting head of ATF.

Kevin Diaz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that GOP resistance to Jone’s confirmation is “stiffening.”

The paper reports that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday requested that top federal law enforcement officials in Washington turn over documents that might reveal “conflicts” with Jones.

The requests were made in a series of letters from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the paper reported.

The paper writes:

The letters, obtained by the Star Tribune, allude to three unnamed witnesses, presumably all law enforcement officials in Minnesota, who reportedly talked privately to Grassley’s staff. Sources close to the matter say they are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation. Nevertheless, Grassley cited them to contradict Jones’ testimony before the Senate last month that he was unaware of any “deterioration” in relations between his office and law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.

The letters also refer indirectly to a whistleblower complaint brought against Jones by Jeffrey Paulsen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, who says he was unfairly disciplined by Jones for raising management concerns.

To read more click here.

 

Ranking Senator Questions Quickness of Confirming New ATF Head B. Todd Jones Gets

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said “very troubling allegations” have surfaced that suggest B. Todd Jones, who is President Obama’s choice to head the ATF, retaliated against a whistleblower, The Washington Times reports.

The Iowa senator questioned why the confirmation hearings last week weren’t delayed while an investigation of Jones continues. 

When asked about the whistle-blowing complaints, Jones said he wasn’t familiar with the “substance of the complaints” and declined to comment.

“I must say that the allegations in the complaint are extremely troubling,” Grassley said.

B. Todd Jones Steps Up to the Plate and Faces Tough Questions in Confirmation Process

Todd Jones

 
By Sari Horwitz and Ed O’Keefe
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The national debate over gun control has died down, but there were moments of high tension Tuesday as the Senate began considering the appointment of a director to the federal agency that regulates firearms and investigates gun and explosives crimes.

The Judiciary Committee finally held a confirmation hearing for B. Todd Jones, the part-time acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who also serves as the U.S. attorney for Minnesota. ATF has not had a full-time director in seven years; President Obama nominated Jones to head the agency five months ago as part of his guns initiative after the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The confirmation hearing came the same week that gun-control advocates, including parents of children killed in Newtown, are pushing lawmakers to reconsider Obama’s stalled legislative package, particularly the bill expanding background checks for firearm purchases. Senate Democratic aides said there are no imminent plans to revive the bill or other elements.

Prospects for Jones also appeared dim as the crowded hearing got off to a fiery start.

To read the full story click here. 

Controversial ATF Agent Vince Cefalu Calls ATF Leadership “A Joke That is Not Funny”

Vince Cefalu

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
As acting director B. Todd Jones faces questioning this week from the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination for director, veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu is weighing in.

Cefalu, who has been described as a whistleblower, and is embroiled in multiple controversial legal actions against ATF, says that the current leadership at the top of ATF is, in his words, is “A joke that is not funny.”

“Not only do we have no Director in place, this climate allows the corrupt middle management at ATF to live on and keep their jobs, ATF needs a total housecleaning and a new direction, not just a figurehead who isn’t even confirmed by Congress,” he said in a statement provided to ticklethewire.com

“Not just ANY Director. DOJ cannot just keep throwing up names without a nationwide search or at least considering nominees with significant law enforcement experience. ATF is an elite law enforcement agency. Merely choosing lawyers who are friendly to the administration does not ensure competency in critical and very dynamic law enforcement operations.”

His spokesman, Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, describes Cefalu as a an agent who “successfully infiltrated the KKK and California biker groups in key cases for ATF” and is known as a whistleblower. Crosby, who runs a media relations firm, says that Cefalu is an activist within ATF, who was responsible for first bringing to light the ill-fated ‘Fast and Furious’ case fiasco.

Crosby says that he is currently employed by ATF while his personal case against ATF is dragging on without a final disposition.

“My case is important to me, but what is more important is that ATF get some real leadership, and that situation dragging on is much more important to the country and the safety of its citizens than my individual case,” Cefalu said.

“As I have said all along, there needs to be accountability for abuses and incompetence. Not reassignments to a locale of the specific managers’ choosing. The agency has dropped to 280 out of 294 in trust in the integrity and honesty in management in the 2012 OPM-sanctioned annual employee survey. The practice of demoting in title only is destructive and sends the message to corrupt managers that ‘We will protect’ retaliation waste fraud and abuse and incompetence. Yet the attacks on complainants and whistleblowers continue. My disputes are now being litigated in multiple venues at great expense to the taxpayers and the public who rely on the Department of Justice to police itself. DOJ has consistently fought vigorously to protect corrupt managers in my case rather than to resolve these disputes and return to serving the public safety.”

 

ATF’s B. Todd Jones Faces Tough Questions Tuesday from Senate Judiciary Committee about

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones’s nomination to head the ATF has become mired in congressional politics, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Nearly six months after he was mentioned as a candidate, Jones is expected to face tough questions from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I am looking forward to meeting with the committee and answering all their questions,” Jones told the Star Tribune.

Republicans say they are concerned about his leadership as a temporary ATF head and his positions on gun-control.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Hearing for ATF Nominee B. Todd Jones Set for June

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The long awaited hearings for B. Todd Jones for ATF director will begin next month.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on June 4.

Jones, the U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis, could catch some grief from some Republicans in the Senate.

As we’ve seen over the past years, it’s not easy getting confirmed for this post, particularly when the NRA is behind the opposition.

Jones is currently the acting director.

 

 

ATF Revitalization Plans Face Opposition

Todd Jones

 
By Sari Horwitz and Peter Finn
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s plans to energize the embattled agency that regulates the firearms industry and investigates gun violence are already running into trouble on Capitol Hill, foreshadowing the difficulties facing the president as he moves to advance his gun-control agenda.

President Obama announced his choice of B. Todd Jones to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last month as a key element in his sweeping slate of gun proposals after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Obama urged Congress to quickly confirm Jones in an effort to embolden an agency that has long operated with limited resources and a part-time director who splits his time between Minneapolis and Washington. Since then, Senate Republicans have indicated they may block Jones’s appointment and have demanded to know more about his role in several operations and policy decisions. They have also expressed lingering suspicions about the agency, noting that it has been dogged by a series of debacles, some of them self-inflicted.

To read full story click here.

Ex-Head of the Minneapolis FBI Attacks B. Todd Jones’ ATF nomination

Todd Jones

 
DAN BROWNING and PAUL MCENROE
Minneapolis Star Tribune staff writers
A former director of the Minneapolis FBI office sent a letter this week to members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee denouncing B. Todd Jones’ performance as U.S. attorney in Minnesota as they prepare to consider his nomination to director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Donald E. Oswald, 54, a self-declared Democrat and supporter of President Obama, said he felt “morally compelled” to alert the committee about what he describes as Jones’ “atrocious professional reputation within the federal law enforcement community” in Minnesota.

“He was, and still remains, a significant impediment for federal law enforcement to effectively protect the citizens of Minnesota from violent gang, drug and gun activities,” Oswald wrote in an eight-page, single-spaced letter.

Oswald said he decided to go public with his concerns because active law enforcement officers in Minnesota are afraid to do so.

To read the full story click here.