The PJ Tatler

Grassley, Issa Slap ATF for Whistleblower 'Threat'

The top lawmakers behind the Operation Fast and Furious investigation have asked the acting director of the ATF to clarify a directive to employees that sounds like a warning to potential whistleblowers.

In a video message released to ATF staff on July 9, ATF Acting Director Todd Jones says, “… 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.”

“If courageous whistleblowers within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF/Agency) had not come forward to Congress, the tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious might never have come to light,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wrote to Jones yesterday. “…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.”

They requested a response no later than July 25 on how Jones intends to clarify the remarks and whether he agrees whistleblowers’ rights are protected under the law.