Skip to main content

tv   Confirmation Hearing for ATF Director Others  CSPAN  May 25, 2022 9:03pm-10:41pm EDT

9:03 pm
and more from the world of politics at your fingertips. stay current with the latest episodes of washington journal and find scheduling for c-span's tv network and radio. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. c-span now, your front row seat to washington anytime, anywhere. >> now the confirmation for steven dettelbach has been nominated to lead the bureau for alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. the hearing also included testimony from two u.s. district court nominees.
9:04 pm
>> i am going to swear you in so please remain standing. do affirm the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? please be seated. thank you very much. we will start with introductory remarks by our judicial nominees.
9:05 pm
>> i am so lucky to have here with me today several members of my family. first with me today is my husband who has supported every step of my career since we first met in college and our son who is the light of our lives and make sure every day has moments of both humility and joy. also drawing me are my parents who raised me to set high expectations for myself and to believe even as a child my thoughts mattered and i father and mother in law whose families came to the united states from china in search of a better life and who went on to build a
9:06 pm
successful future for themselves and their own children in incumbent texas. my sister victoria and her family cannot be in person but i know they are watching from kuwait where she serves our country in the foreign service. i am grateful throughout this process to have had the support from my colleagues from my law firm and tightknit groups of friends from college and law school. only one of them could be here any person today but i know many are watching from around the world. i want to note the personal significance of having been nominated for ac in tacoma washington. i am a monk the fifth generation of my family to reside in washington state and migrate grandfather was a blacksmith for the northern pacific railroad. union station is now the federal or house where i will sit if confirmed. i can only imagine how proud my family would be today. thank you. look forward to answering the
9:07 pm
committee's questions. >> thank you, senator blumenthal, chairman derby, ranking member grassley and members of the senate judiciary committee for the opportunity to appear before you today. many thanks to president biden for the nomination and to senator bennett for his kind words and senator hickenlooper for the recommendation as well as our judicial nomination committee. i am truly humbled to be here today. there is no doubt i would not be here without many people. i thank my husband doug. it should come as no surprise doug has paid small and large sacrifices often untold and appreciated so i could be considered for this seat. he and our son luc are at home finishing a final week of school. her daughter is with me today and i hope both of them remembered dad and i are proud of who you are, what you want to do.
9:08 pm
also with me today are two of my dearest friends, dr. jamie solomon and so winco who have shared my greatest joys and hardest losses. i would like to thank my parents whose immigration and action with hard work and resilience i could achieve my dreams. thanks to my brother, his husband, my parents along robert and carol, my brother and sister-in-law and my nieces and nephews. i thank the greater taiwanese community in kansas who stood in as our extended family as i grew up. i cannot miss the opportunity to thank the late robert goal who was instrumental in my family's immigration story. i am ever grateful to judge peter merced he remains my mentor and when judge paul friedman opened the doors of the
9:09 pm
judiciary to me. finally, i would like to take a moment to thank my entire court family in the district of colorado particularly mobile clerks and magistrates whose hard work and dedication has brought me here today. and judge christine who seat for which i am being considered. her contributions to colorado's legal community are truly unparalleled. take you for allowing me to make these introductions and i welcome your questions. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. i also want to thank chairman durbin, ranking member grassley and all the committee members here and thanks to senator brown for the very kind introduction and his support. i appreciate the heartfelt words i have heard from the chairman and ranking member grassley about yesterday's tragedy. the pain those families and the
9:10 pm
whole community and all of us feel especially those families is unimaginable to me. for me and for many last night was a night where parents everywhere hugged their kids a little harder at the end of the day. my thoughts are very much with the community in texas that are suffering so deeply and with other communities because this event can be a catalyst for other people who have gone through this to relive some of the great pain they feel. i also want to thank president biden for nominating me to be the director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives and i will say as a former staff detail leon this committee, i am especially honored to be here today. i spent the majority of my career as a prosecutor. that service of over 20 years is not possible without a really supportive family. i want to thank my wife carol
9:11 pm
who is here along with my children for their love and support. i lost my mom and my dad not too long ago but i know that they are with me and my mom's kid sister and my dad's big brother are both here to support me and to remind me of the example my folks set for me. my mom who was a teacher, especially poignant today. and my weather -- my wonderful father-in-law who brought his family including my wife to this great country to raise her in texas, almost 50 years ago is here with us as well. finally, especially given the horrible events with saul over the last day, i want to thank again the brave and dedicated women of law enforcement and especially the atf. i have worked with atf agents and seen their work for 30 years and it is not just the agents.
9:12 pm
the agents who respond to horrific crime scenes and they risked their lives standing shoulder to shoulder. on the street to the analysts and staff who anonymously pour over evidence and data late into the night to try to make a case, to the bomb technician responding to a horrible incident and a dangerous incident to the lab person working against time trying to make a ballistic match. and more. i want those people and the others at the atf to know that i honor that service. and i went and both they and the public they protect to know if i am given the privilege of becoming a senate confirmed atf director, i will work every day to join them as a leader and as a partner in both good times and bad.
9:13 pm
we face many threats to public safety both new and old. 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 and i val if i am given the privilege of serving as director, to partner with others to advance the cause of public safety and to approach that task especially now with an open heart, with open ears, and always with an open mind.
9:14 pm
thank you. >> the chair has returned but with his permission, i'm going to make a brief statement and ask questions. i want to join you in thanking the extraordinary professionals of atf, the agency you have been nominated to lead having been a federal prosecutor of the united states attorney of connecticut i worked with this agency and have followed their work. there is no more dedicated and brave group of professionals and what we have seen over the last 24 hours again, we have seen it repeatedly over these years is the devotion of local law enforcement and state police to stop and gun violence and rescuing the victims and survivors of gun violence in
9:15 pm
this country. president biden has made it clear his administration is committed to combating the surge in violent crime in communities across the united states but as we know, violent crime cannot be stopped without also stopping can violence. firearms make violent crime all the more violent and all the more likely to be deadly. the best laws on the books are dead letter if they are not enforced effectively and it will be your job to make sure the premier federal agency responsible for gun violence has the mandate and the independence to pursue it diligently, fearlessly and for osha sleep. you come here at -- and
9:16 pm
ferociously. you come here at a moment of anxiety, anguish and anger in this country. i believe we must move forward with gun violence prevention reforms that will make our laws more effective and give you more tools that you need in saving communities and individual lives. i believe in the second amendment. it is the law of the land. there are measures we can take that are consistent with the second amendment that will separate people from firearms if they are dangerous to themselves to a red flag statutes, baked -- background checks. ghost guns. and others. when it comes to tackling these kinds of problems, we need an agency that is not only independent but will be perceived as independent beyond the influence and grip of the
9:17 pm
gun lobby which all too often has been perceived as having undue impact on the atf. that perception itself can undermine an agency's effectiveness. as much as i feel will bring new leadership, i think it is important we move forward to give you that opportunity as quickly as possible particularly seizing this moment of extraordinary challenge to make sure you have a mandate from the united states congress to do your job. let me ask you how you will draw on your background as a prosecutor to make sure that you are effective in this job. >> senator, i have spent the vast majority of my career as a prosecutor. over 20 years i have worked -- it is a core value of mine,
9:18 pm
something i have lived with, politics complain no role in law enforcement. none at all. i have worked under republican administrations and i worked under democratic administrations as a federal prosecutor. i have lived that credo and i vowed 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 are at the atf, to catch the bad guys and protect the public. i would like to thank my record doing that is one of the reasons i have support of over 140 senior justice department officials and bipartisan support support from deputy attorney general for donald trump and deputy attorney general for president bush as well as the deputy attorney general for president obama. from assistant attorney generals from both side of the aisle and
9:19 pm
i val to never let -- i vow to never let politics influence my actions as atf director. >> you have a track record of combating extremism. particularly religion motivated violence. you are praised by both republicans and democrats for combating that kind of violent extremism. we know that a number of gun violence incidents, some of the most deadly, most recently in buffalo but also creek, charleston and charlottesville, it's berg, el paso were motivated by this kind of white supremacy anti-religion, particularly religious faith kind of violence. how will that experience be part
9:20 pm
of your motivation here? >> i have seen in my -- 30 years ago, i have seen the incidents and audacity of anti-religious violence grow over time. it was there when i started but things have seemed to unfortunately go in the wrong direction i will say this as someone who is a process are and raising jewish children as a religious minority in this country. i spent time in pittsburgh. i talked to people at tree of life. the largest mosque in my state was torched. an african-american church was torched. we caught a fellow in toledo who had stockpiled -- this is somebody who had shot three people, killed one, had a felony record for that we found him in toledo with 18 weapons, 40,000
9:21 pm
rounds of ammunition, a kevlar vest and surveillance evidence he was scouting out and following the head of the jewish community federation in detroit and the head of the naacp in detroit and the joint terrorism task force talk -- caught that person to this part of who im and it is a core american value to have religious freedom and worship without fear of violence . we have to make sure we protect that. >> thank you senator blumenthal. last year in chicago, my wife and i attended a memorial service for a chicago policewoman. her name was ella french. she was gunned down in the streets of chicago in her squad car and her partner was shot in the head as well. he lost his sight in one eye. the death of ella french grip to let city like nothing i've ever
9:22 pm
seen. at the memorial service there were uniform policemen from all over ella noy and the midwest and beyond. standing in the heat for hours to show their respects. it turned out the weapon that was used to kill her was a straw purchase meaning a person with a clean record went to the gun dealer, federally licensed gun dealer and legally purchased a gun to hand it over to a person who took ella french's life. this so-called straw purchase has been viewed in the past as a bookkeeping manner, a misdemeanor type matter or at least level on the priority list. when it came to the life of this policewoman, it was certainly not a misdemeanor matter. it was a matter of life and death.
9:23 pm
alcohol, tobacco and firearms agency has as one of its responsibilities the administration of the laws applying to these federally licensed gun dealers. what is the proper approach when it comes to prosecution? what is the proper approach when we instruct federal licensees selling guns that they have a duty to accurately and honestly ascertain whether a person is eligible to buy gun? >> senator, the proper approach to enforcing these laws which are on the books, it is illegal to straw purchase. the proper approach is a team approach. are the things i have seen in law enforcement and i know they are trying and chicago is to make sure we are working together with state and local law enforcement and task forces and i'm a big fan of the task force approach to make sure we are in the communities listening
9:24 pm
to local police officers about the threats they are facing. if they see a certain threat, a straw purchase threat, we are listening to them. with respect of how to handle them, it is not a paperwork offense when somebody intentionally lies and buys. and is able to get a firearm unlawfully for another person. you check the box that says it's for you and is really for somebody else. so should be prosecuted to the extent of the law. >> if a gun is purchased without a background check, there is no way to know what the circumstances are for the buyer or with the ultimate purchase of the gun might be. >> that is correct. >> in the course of your practice, you have dealt with law enforcement. you have represented law enforcement and those charging police misconduct. tell me your view of the role of law enforcement today in common
9:25 pm
conversation about reforming police. >> senator, -- thank you, chair durbin. my role in those issues have primarily been as a litigator. both representing law enforcement officers who are excelling in their jobs that are facing legal conditions at work and also representing people who se clearly established constitutional rights have been violated and congress provided a remedy for that. my role as an attorney, i have looked at my specific cases and the legal claims and specific evidence from my clients in advancing their interests and i have been proud to represent all of those clients and the important interest those cases play in our constitutional order. >> thank you. senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
9:26 pm
mr. dettelbach, let's start with you. every time one of these tragedies occurs, i think we far too long felt to look back at the root causes of rampage violence. questions involving things like why -- why is our culture suddenly producing so many young men who want to murder innocent people? raises questions like things like fatherlessness, the breakdown of families, isolation from civil society or the glorification of violence. achieving factors.
9:27 pm
-- contribute in factors. the left is calling for more gun control. they want to crackdown on ball but -- on law-abiding americans instead of armed criminals. for example, as i recall, we have called for every type of gun control and under your leadership as u.s. attorney for the northern district of ohio, the number of prosecutions of firearms and explosives cases filed by the office decreased by almost half from 123 cases filed in 2008 to 65 cases filed in 2016. there may be reasons for that. i'm not familiar with all the operations of the office at the time but i think it is worth inquiring into . more outrages is gun groups wasted no time in attempting to
9:28 pm
this horrific tragedy. every town's fundraising in mill attempts to play on the emotions of those whose lives have been ripped apart by this tragic shooting is troubling. there email says this crisis will only end if we been together and demand action from our lawmakers. i need you in this fight. at the end of the letter is a large button that says contribute to end gun violence. you are endorsed by every town. is that so? >> i believe so. >> are you willing to disavow all their shameless immediate fundraising off of the texas tragedy hours after this tragedy occurred? >> senator, and i want to repeat and promise you, as atf
9:29 pm
director, politics have no place in law enforcement. they have no place as an atf director. i don't view this as a democratic or republican issue. >> i appreciate that and that is as it should be. >> do disavow these efforts? >> i have not seen these efforts you're referring to. it is not for me to get involved in political argument. i'm going to be a law enforcement as i have done for 20 years if i'm fortunate enough to be confirmed. i would never be involved in political aspect of that kind of thing. >> i appreciated that and that is as it should be. i do think it is unfortunate they are doing this literally hours after the shooting at don't think that is difficult to disavow. apparently you are not inclined to do that. do you support the biden administration zero-tolerance policy for firearms licensees?
9:30 pm
>> i was not at the atf when those policies were developed. i have not had a chance to speak with the people of vhf about all the things behind them. i represent businesses who deal with regulators. to me, the three key things of good regulation is it has to be fair. number two, it has to be consistent. number three, it has to be effective. in my experience representing clients when you cannot do those things, it creates an uncertain business atmosphere for people trying to follow the law and i will tell you that would be very important to me to find out. you can do those things at the same time. it is not always easy but you can because it is important for people who have second amendment rights and who are business people. >> do you believe federal firearms licensees should have their licenses revoked for simple paperwork errors on form
9:31 pm
4473 or for missing outreach from atf or a tracing request? >> senator, i would have to look at any individual case but i will tell you people have to know if they have a minor violation, it is going to be treated one way to people have to know if it is more significant, it is going to be more significant -- is going to be another. every time. that would be very important to me to do that. lawyers that argue about what happened, this was intentional. it was not intentional. that is where we can have discussions as a regulated industry but people should understand and have some predictability. when you do this, this is what happens. >> i would like you to answer that question. i appreciate your willingness to say there should be clarity. i would like to know whether a federally licensed firearms dealer should lose his or her
9:32 pm
license based on simple paperwork errors in form 4473. >> to me, it depends on e -- each case is different. you are saying errors. i assume you mean something totally unintentional so unintentional violations are much less serious than intentional violations. >>'s on that basis they should not lose their license. >> i guess if it has happened 70 times over a. of years, you look at the whole circumstance. you should treat different cases differently. >> absent aggravating factors. >> the lawyers argue about that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. with all due respect to my friend from utah and he is my friend, i'm getting concerned a hearing a number of people being critical of gun control
9:33 pm
advocates who are speaking out. it is almost a case of blaming the victims and not blaming the person who is able to walk in and buy a weapon that should be used on a war zone, not in a school zone. the kind of weapons being used by the russians in ukraine have no place in school. it is not the time to blame the victims. it is time to blame those who sell weapons of war this way. i assume outrages because gun violence continues to plague the country. as a senator from kata get pointed out nearly 10 years ago, 20 children and six adults were slaughtered at sandy hook elementary. this committee advanced
9:34 pm
commonsense sense legislation to advance shortcomings. 19 elementary school children and two teachers gunned down another texas school by a teenager. nothing has changed. nothing except more lives lost. our republican colleagues go on television and says the answer is to arm the elementary school teachers. my children, my grandchildren are in elementary school, expect the teachers to be teaching and not carrying guns. empty thoughts and prayers. what is that -- instead of doing something. vote for real restrictions on guns. where the only civilized nation on earth that washes our citizens, our children gunned down and we do nothing to prevent it from happening again. we are cowards if we do not act. cowards. mr. dettelbach, it is good to
9:35 pm
see you again. as a former staff member of my on this committee, i know your integrity and your honesty and how you work with republicans and democrats on this committee. it may be different sitting at the nominees table but i congratulate you on your nomination. you served from 2009 to sheila's and 16. you spent two decades as prosecutor. i think it is critically important the atf have a director who can enforce our nations gun laws. i have heard this from police officers in my own state and all over. there is an issue in the tracing center in west virginia. the ndc is our only crime tracing facility appeared whenever a gun is found on a
9:36 pm
crime scene, they submit a trace request to the national tracing center. because of i would say stupid restriction posed by congress, the hf is unable to electronically search tens of millions of gun sale records currently in its possession. people should look at the warehouses full of paper records. in 2022 atf employees are forced to conduct these searches by hand. the restriction -- a national fear that would lead to a registry of firearms. law enforcement agencies need to
9:37 pm
trace firearms. electronically search gun records in their possession. i reintroduced a crime gun tracing modernization act last year. i thank senator's and feinstein angela brennan for joining as cosponsors. are you familiar this issue with the paper records? >> i am generally familiar with it. i am not specifically familiar with it. >> let me ask you this question as someone who has been in law enforcement. do you believe allowing atf to electronically search crime gun records would aid law enforcement? >> as someone who has been in law enforcement having the ability to -- with atf does is say follow the firearm is an
9:38 pm
important thing for law enforcement and i would tell you that whether under president tools and if congress decides, i will use whatever tools congress gives me and i will stay with them will to support state and will enforcement to catch shooters. >> i will close with this. a firearm used to tragic results bought through a straw purchaser. chair durbin and i and center c collins -- in senator collins have introduced legislation to stop these purchases. you believe legislation making these acts a legal might help? >> again, if i'm play bridge to to be confirmed, my job will be to do what congress tells me to do. i will use whatever tools you give me to do my best to enforce
9:39 pm
the laws as they are on the books and i don't come to this position with a specific policy agenda but i do know that people who straw purchase, it is a serious matter under current law and whatever tools i am given i will do my best to use them impartially but effectively to enforce the law. >> senator grassley. >> the president gave you a tool recently last june. he announced the atf would be going after rogue gun dealers who willfully violate the law with zero-tolerance policy. you will be in charge of overseeing this policy if confirmed. define rogue gun dealer for me. >> senator, as i have said, to me, the key to enforcement program as it has to be fair. it has to be consistent.
9:40 pm
it has to be effective and i'm not fully with any legal definition. i think you look at each case and you decide. you decide is this an intentional violation or not. is this a repeated violation or not. is it effective for the atf to spend their time on this violation. does he go to the harm of trying to protect the public or not. >> i got you. can you tell me what counts as a willful violation? would include a clerical error that would have been historically treated with a warning? >> senator, to me as a lawyer, the world willful implies something more than an inadvertent error. it implies intentional misstatement. i have not looked at an individual case but in general the term willful implies a high level of intent. >> do you think this policy the president announced could hurt the cooperative relationship between the atf it has with the
9:41 pm
industry? >> even in my period as a nominee before this hearing, i have tried to end have reached out and commit a kid with people who represent the industry. i know it is very important for an atf director to hear from all interested parties whether they are victim and survivor groups or people in the industry to see what their perspective is and i would commit if i were fortunate enough to be confirmed continue to hear all perspective to be a fair regulator. >> when the previous nominee as director was made, gun owners had grave concerns he did not respect their second amendment rights. i'm trying to get a sense of how you will approach regulation if you are confirmed. can you tell me two gun control opposes mr. chipman supported you do not support and two you agree with him on. if two is too many, one on each
9:42 pm
side. >> senator, i am not familiar with his record. >> that is ok then. >> did you follow mr. chipman's nomination and the concerns gun owners raised when you were preparing for this hearing or did not come up as you prepared for it? >> certainly i looked at some of the concerns that were raised in the prior hearing. i cannot say i followed it, senator. i was not focused on that matter at that time. >> can you tell me the number one source of tips the atf receives about firearms trafficking? >> i cannot because i have not been there but i have been told by people i have talked to in the run-up to this hearing it is often the atf does get tips from people in the industry. >> ok. i think that is a good answer. more specifically, i think it is
9:43 pm
a federal firearms licensee. as u.s. attorney, did you prosecute any firearms trafficking cases that started with a tip from the licensees? >> senator, is the u.s. attorney, -- as the u.s. attorney, you are not often privy to the details of how a particular case starts. it goes through law enforcement. it will go through the atf or fbi or local police. i don't know the answer to that question. >> i will yield back and submit written questions for the two judges. >> senator feinstein. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i would like to use my time to make a statement if i may. just yesterday, the country watched as once again nearly 20 children were slaughtered in their classrooms in texas. this was the 27th school shooting this year. and comes just eight days after
9:44 pm
10 people were slaughtered in buffalo, new york while shopping for groceries. in both cases, the shooter was a teenager with an assault weapon. there have been more than 200 mass shootings this year. more than one per day. this really breaks my heart and it is simply unacceptable. we know what we need to do to stop this violence but time and time again, we have failed to do it. we know what protections work to stop these killings. for example, in the 10 years that the assault weapons ban was in place, gun massacres dropped 37%. after the band lapsed in 2004, gun massacres rose by 183%.
9:45 pm
there is simply no reason that average citizens need weapons of war to go about their daily life. this is especially true of teenagers. the shooters in texas and new york were not old enough to buy a beer. but they were able to buy an assault weapon. that is why i recently introduced the age 21 act along with several of my colleagues. the bill would fix this disparity by limiting a teenagers ability to buy assault weapons we seem to even lack the will to keep weapons away from those that we know are dangerous. laws allowing gun restrictions to be placed on individuals who pose an extreme risk for the safety of others as determined by a judge analyzing the facts in each case face
9:46 pm
substantial opposition. our domestic violence walls are riddled with loopholes that make it all too simple for people we know to be violent and possess weapons. rather than take action, all we have done time and again is try to console the victims of these senseless tragedies and wait for the next and evitable attack. and we know it will come. just one year ago, this committee considered another nominee to serve as atf director. the morning of that nominees hearing, a gunman in san jose, california opened fire on a mass transit facility and killed 10 people. here we are again considering another nominee to serve as atf
9:47 pm
director less than 24 hours after a mass shooting. mr. dettelbach, the role to which you have been dominated is an incredibly important one and one which i intend to follow carefully. i understand you have first-hand experience working to protect and support the victims of gun violence and their families from your time as a federal prosecutor. how has this experience informed your career and how will you work to consider the victims of gun violence and their families as you carry out the atf enforcement mission if you are confirmed? >> senator, i think most prosecutors would answer this question the same way, which is -- when you graduate will
9:48 pm
school, -- graduate law school, the laws under the books. when you become a prosecutor and interact with victims and survivors who have experienced incredible loss, it becomes a part of you. it never leaves you. i know this morning i got a text from a woman who was a victim in an atf case our office did were eight children were killed. those relationships and that experience never leaves you and it will never leave me in trying to work law enforcement to an force the law and remove dangerous criminals from our community. >> will you commit to this committee will be strong on this issue? >> senator, i will commit to this committee i will be a law enforcement enforcer who is very strong. >> thank you, senator feinstein. senator hawley. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
9:49 pm
if i could start with you, want to ask about what you were just saying. you were a prosecutor for some time. you were the u.s. attorney in ohio. >> among other things, i was the u.s. attorney in ohio for seven years. >> remind me of the dates. >> 2009 to 2016. >> you are responsible as u.s. attorney for your district for prosecuting all manner of crimes including federal firearms crimes. >> i oversell an office responsible for federal prosecutions and law enforcement in the northern district of ohio. >> including firearms. what is -- you think they should be a high priority? >> yes, i think you are working with local law enforcement and state priority together but you are working in partnership. violent crime and gun crime should be a priority.
9:50 pm
terrorism is a priority also. it is a priority. >> you said -- you committed to senator feinstein you would be very strong in this role and i assume you think it is important to be very strong as a prosecutor when it comes to violent crime including firearms crime like the kind we saw yesterday. is that fair to say? >> yes, senator. i think it is. >> let me ask you about something in your record that puzzles me. when you became the u.s. attorney, there were 120 firearms and explosives prosecutions a year. by the time you left, there were half that number. there was a continuous decline over three years. 75 in 2014. -- 2015. what accounts for the? sure -- what accounts for that?
9:51 pm
>> sure, senator. my earliest days as a prosecutor in maryland, i was a liaison prosecutor for project disarm. i set in conference room every monday morning with a stack of cases this high and went through which one should go state. they would tell me this is a dangerous person. to go federal. this is a gang case. i have been committed to that for many years. when i was u.s. attorney, we had in the office why work for ended gun cases for who is supporting my nomination, he had an aggressive program. we continued it. we never changed our intake guidelines. there were times where we lowered them sometimes. if i gotta phone call from youngstown we would do what we call the v grip program. there were years where our prosecutions went up and there
9:52 pm
were years when they went down. we did not change our guidelines. during some of those years, law enforcement, they are the ones that bring you the cases. federal law enforcement and others. my office had significant staffing issues. i was u.s. attorney during sequestration. i was u.s. attorney during shutdown. i sat at the reception desk at one point as u.s. attorney. i cannot tell you what causes ups and downs under those numbers but i will tell you one thing that did not because it was any change in our approach to what cases should be prosecuted. >> but it is a pretty big drop. . 121 cases broad the year you became u.s. attorney. it is constant and then begins a steady decline down to 65. that is half as much. but i notice is the next year under your successor, it doubles. help me understand.
9:53 pm
was this not something you were pushing? was this the police's full? >> no, it was not the police's fault. it was something i focus significant time and attention on. great people in the office around that program. it was not that i was following the program of my predecessor. i believed in it and i never changed it. with respect to these kinds of cases, i never saw a situation where any person who worked for me in my office was declining cases. there was a time in akron, ohio where this great career assisting, one of the most aggressive gun prosecutors i ever met turned down a case. said it did not match our guidelines. the chief of police and akron called me and said this was wrong. i said tell me what is going on. we don't have a predicate that matches the office policy.
9:54 pm
yes but the youngstown police chief told me they liked this guy for two homicides they have not called him for. we did the case. that was my attitude from when i started to when i finished and it was my predecessor's attitude and my successors who are all supporting me for this job. >> what you're telling me is you don't know what. these are not -- >> there were years it went up also. >> it was about level. your high watermark was 160. and it goes down to 65. there is a pattern. 113 in 2014. 75 in 2015. 65 in 2016. it sounds like you don't know. >> my last day as u.s. attorney was for berry for the 2016. >> the cases that were prosecuted that year were under the pipeline. did you look at these numbers and say this is disturbing? this needs to change.
9:55 pm
we need to get tough. >> senator, we enforced the law and i will tell you that cases in that kind of program are very quick turnaround cases. we have to charge within a week or two. it is not a white color case -- white collar case. >> did crime go down during those years? >> crime did go down but i don't know what the particular pause is. we never changed our policy and i know i was office priority. >> what you get back to me on that. >> let me recognize senator kunz who has been waiting. >> thank you, senator whitehouse. thank you tori three nominees in front of us today -- thank you to our nominees. i am not a rude man but i will tell you i have genuinely struggled today as a number of reporters were talking to me in the hallway. i and my wife and my whole
9:56 pm
family, our heart is broken for parents and teachers and faculty and committee members and schoolchildren who are today living through every family's worst nightmare to have again night teen elementary school students massacred in their classroom, to have their teachers killed defending them and to have some described as unthinkable, unimaginable when it is entirely too predictable now. the pain the robb elementary school community in texas is living through today is perhaps incomprehensible for those of us who have children but it is entirely predictable. i will make a bold production. it will happen again. and again until we collectively decide to find a path forward to responsibly address it.
9:57 pm
and we in the senate need to have a better answer. while i am a praying man and believe in the power of prayer, i am sick to death of saying my thoughts and prayers are with parents who today are waking up to the incomprehensible heart or of having their child massacre at school. we cannot part and we did not see this coming. we cannot pretend this is not a pressing issue. and while i respect as strongly as any member of this committee the constitutional rights protected by our bill of rights, we need to act to ensure tragedies like this do not continue happening with astonishing, embarrassing, gut wrenching regularity. i know not one particular law we could pass here will prevent every such tragedy but we have to do more. we have to make it harder for individuals to get access to
9:58 pm
weapons who have demonstrated the capacity or the potential to use them to harm themselves or their families and we have to do more to address gun violence. every week in my hometown and in cities and communities across this country, gun violence takes lives in communities of all types and backgrounds and we cannot become numb to this. i'm going to focus my questioning at the nominee to lead the atf. the atf has been an important part of trying to tackle gun violence in delaware and around the nation. i am grateful you are willing to step forward and serve. we have not had a confirmed atf leader in far too long and it is my hope we can confirm you. i am struck by the widespread support you have received from law enforcement. your nomination has been endorsed by the international association of chiefs of police, by the major county sheriffs, by
9:59 pm
the federal law enforcement officers association, by women in law enforcement, a bipartisan group of more than a 40 members of the justice department should i would -- justice department. would like to note a few of the quotes members of this committee have received. federal law enforcement officers association says you have a proven history of working with law enforcement, corrections officials, stakeholders and elected officials across the political spectrum. -- i worked closely with the iacp and deeply respect their scope and their service. they wrote that your experience your expertise, your record of success, are evidence of your qualifications to serve as the next director of the a.t.f..
10:00 pm
noble, which has a chapter in my state and played a key role in my work to try and advance diversity within law-enforcement, wrote that you've displayed the qualities of leadership, excellence and persistence in supporting and defending our constitution while enshrining justice for all americans. i think that speaks highly toilet should confirm you. could you briefly describe how you have managed to work collaboratively with federal state and local law enforcement in your time as u.s. attorney to help prevent raising gun crime, while still respecting our constitution? >> senator, to hear those quotes from the men and women on the frontlines protecting us every day, it is humbling. during my time as a prosecutor, 30 years, one of the single biggest changes was a level of partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement.
10:01 pm
when i started, there were speeches about how it was a one-way street, we tell you what we want on the federal side , you don't get to hear. that is gone. no longer the case. to me, the task force and that partnership is the single biggest advance and the biggest weapon we have to fight violent crime together. i believe that the a.t.f. especially has been on the front -- on the forefront of that. the a.t.f. is able to him the ground law-enforcement partner and that is the philosophy of liberty to the a.t.f.. >> thank you. as the founder and cochair of the law-enforcement caucus here in the senate that has done a lot to try and strengthen and sustain that federal local partnership and that engagement with stakeholders, i very much look forward less than two weeks from when there was a man wearing body armor, carrying an ar-15, killed 10 innocent
10:02 pm
people. we can't afford to keep saying someday in the future somehow we will take action and i think the least we could do is deliver a senate-confirmed leader for the a.t.f. thank you. >> senator cotton. >> thank you. mr. dettelbach, in your 2018 campaign for attorney general, you called for a ban on so-called assault weapons. can you define what is an assault weapon for me? >> senator, when i was candidate for office, i did talk about restrictions for assault weapons. i have not gone through the process of defining that term. that would be for congress if he chose to take that up to do, and if you chose to take it up, i would be at the a.t.f. and there is perhaps expertise or data that we could give you so you could make the appropriate decision to both protect the public and protect the second amendment. >> so you are running for public office and you called for a ban on assault weapons but you don't have a definition for assault
10:03 pm
weapons? >> signature, it would only be for a legislative body, whether the ohio legislature or congress, it was only going to be for a legislative body to do that work. i acknowledge it is a difficult task to define assault weapons because on one hand, you don't want it to be so narrow that it doesn't offer the protections intended, and on the other hand, you don't want it to be so broad that it infringes unnecessarily on the rights of the citizens. i acknowledge is a difficult task. >> why is it so hard to define assault weapons. >> senator, what i told you is that you don't wanted to be so narrow as to be meaningless, and you don't wanted to be so broad as to infringe on the rights of law-abiding americans unnecessarily. >> congress took an effort at that definition in 1994. what did he think of that definition congress used? >> i don't know enough about
10:04 pm
that. that is a definition i am not particularly familiar with. i haven't studied the data on how that particular definition -- i have heard comments on both sides of that. i acknowledge it is a very difficult issue. that is for this body to decide. >> is it because there is really not a category of weapons known as assault weapons? there are rifles, shotguns, pistols, can you go to a federally licensed firearms dealer and label a category of weapons as assault weapons? >> i don't think there is a category of weapons that is labeled on the walls of retailers. it's not what retailers call it that will affect the decision of the legislative body. it is what>> politicians and lawyers in washington would call it, to answer your question. >> senator, for me, it would be what elected legislators would choose to or not to call it. >> i think it is very telling
10:05 pm
that you are nominated to lead the a.t.f. and you don't have a definition of assault weapons. the point is there is no such thing as a category of weapons known as assault weapons. there are rifles, shotguns, pistols. they have properties, features, but there is no such thing as a category of assault weapons. i want to turn to the southern poverty law center. in 2017 you called for treating as terrorist groups organizations that had been labeled as hate groups by the southern poverty law center, which itself is a corrupt slush fund for liberal causes with its own very troubled history of racist and sexist record. he said in an op-ed that we should pass new laws that label these groups as terrorist, and, quote, " "disrupted them." one such group that the southern poverty center has labeled as
10:06 pm
hate groups, you said would treat as a terrorist group, is the family research council. do you believe the family research council is a hate group and should be treated as terrorists? >> i think in the article you are referring to, i cited a number of hate groups, and number that the southern poverty law center said existed in ohio. >> there were about 33 of them. >> i know i am not a member of that group. i am not associated with that group. but it would be obviously not for a private group to define what a terrorist organization was. i was making the point that there are domestic terrorism organizations that espouse violence. the key is groups that espouse violence. and that we ought to treat those domestic terrorism organizations that espouse violence the same way, or using some of the same models as i was using on al qaeda when i did al-qaeda cases
10:07 pm
, hezbollah cases. because the key is violence. >> but the southern poverty law center polls groups like the family research council a hate group, and he said he wanted to treat them like a terrorist. and another is the alliance defending freedom. do you think the alliance defending freedom should be treated like al qaeda? >> i am not familiar with any of those groups. >> but you are familiar with the southern poverty law center. >> generally. >> but you are not familiar with its troubled history of racism and sexism? >> i know about the group but i am not familiar with the things to which you are referring to. >> should you be confirmed, i recommend that you familiarize yourself with the southern poverty law center before you ever cite them and certainly before you rely on them using using federal power. >> let me make sure that we have into the record the broad
10:08 pm
support for mr. dettelbach from america's law enforcement community. without objection, i will put into the record the letter of support from the national sheriffs association, i will put into the record the letter of support from the international association of chiefs of police, and i will put into the record the letter of support from the national organization of black letter enforcement -- black law enforcement executives. i would add that the federal law-enforcement officers association, the major county sheriffs association, women in federal law enforcement, a separate organization, 140 one former department of justice officials from both parties, the prosecutors in the oklahoma city bombing case, the association of prosecuting attorneys. the hispanicamerican police
10:09 pm
command officers association, and others have expressed their support for mr. dettelbach based on his distinguished record of fair and effective prosecution as u.s. attorney and elsewhere in his career. i would like to say that, it is intensely frustrating to the point of sickening, to serve in this body while massacres of children and others take place in venues like grocery stores and elementary schools and be unable to pass simple laws that are well-accepted not only by american people, but by gun owning americans that have records of success at the state level. and that we can't do a thing about here.
10:10 pm
i think there is a very simple reason why we can't do anything about it here. and that is the national rifle association. we have letters from throughout law enforcement. we didn't get one for mr. dettelbach from the national rifle association. it is immensely impactful in this room and in our body, we have many colleagues who he to the nra'se direction and bidding. they do so because of the dark-running operation run by the national rifle association has immense, if secretive political clout. it is impossible to track the money flowing in and out of the n.r.a. because it is not properly disclosed, that there has been evidence that russian money has flowed into the n.r.a. and that has not been dispelled by any light of transparency shown by the n.r.a.
10:11 pm
we are obliged to talk about reasonable responses to these massacres and murders and there is absolutely nothing about the nra's position in these matters that is reasonable. it has an absolutist ideology about guns that is driven by economic motivation to keep the gun manufacturers making profits and they get their way because they enforce bad ideology driven by economic motivation with massive data money and political muscle. it is not the only place in which dark-money and political muscle has disabled the congress, but it is certainly one of the worst. and if we will put an end to it, we have to have a reckoning with the behavior of the n.r.a. and its absolutist positions and its refusal to disclose its donors and the whole mess it has created where we cannot have
10:12 pm
reasonable bipartisan discussions about what needs to be done to fix this problem. so i will yield back and i will ask mr. dettelbach a question for the record. i have been a prosecutor like you. we have got the situation that one sees all too often where police roll up to a shooting seen, the emts are dealing with the victims, the police tape may be out already, the sidewalks and streets are scattered with shells ejected by the shooter. the shooter is long gone. but the cartridge casings contain incredibly important evidence that it brought to those police officers on the scene quickly, can help give them information that could be essential to being able to locate escaped shooter and prevent further injuries. i will ask you for a question
10:13 pm
for the record to layout how does a.t.f. director, you will enhance the ability of local law enforcement to get that information as quickly and effectively as possible so they can solve these crimes as quickly and effectively as possible. my time has expired so i will yield back to the chairman. >> thank you, senator whitehouse. senator booker. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. to all the three people in the panel, thank you for being here. your bios are extraordinary. your commitment to the country and willingness to serve is both humbling to me and very inspiring. i want to thank your families that are here too. this is not an easy path you have chosen and you do not do it alone, as you said in your introductory remarks. i want to thank them for their commitment to the country and their willingness to support you in this path. i will be supporting you
10:14 pm
happily, maybe even gleefully on the floor of the u.s. senate. i look forward to taking the vote. i look forward -- as most people have, you all are very fortunate that you're sitting next to a man trying to be the head of the a.t.f., which hasn't had a leader in eight for years. i want to say to mr. dettelbach, i am looking forward to supporting you. there is a lot being said about you. i find it astonishing to look at the law enforcement list that my colleague just read off of the incredible folks that are behind you. it says that you should rest your case right now. i am also aware of the fact that mr. trump couldn't get his nominee to the a.t.f. confirmed not because he didn't have law enforcement support, but it was once again the power of these lobbies that do not represent the majority of gun owners' positions on issues involving around guns. i know the kind of leader you will be. i have such confidence in you. in the little bit of time i
10:15 pm
have, i want to drill down on the frustration i have had. as senator whitehouse talked about both of us come from a world where we were focused on the enforcement remember my first trip to washington as mayor of new jersey's largest city and talking to leaders of the a.t.f. and being stunned by their candor in me about how much congress has handcuffed the a.t.f. to enforce the laws we have. i was stunned when he started going through chapter and verse, all the riders that have been put into big legislation, all the things that have been done to their budget, all the outrageous loopholes that prevent the atf from using modern policing. you are the one agency that republicans in effect are happy to defund. the a.t.f. has not kept up with the other law enforcement federal agencies in funding. if you look at the budget of the
10:16 pm
a.t.f., it has been stagnant over the last 10 years. the budgets of other law enforcement agencies have decreased dramatically in comparison. from 2000 five tech 2014, the fbi's budget went up 62%. customs and border patrol's budget, 94%. it goes on and on. and the increase of your budget is barely keeping up with inflation. the manpower shortages are starting to me. you and i both know, because we have been in this world, the strong -- the straw purchases which i've heard from some of my colleagues source a significant amount of the illegal weapons that end up in the hands of people that shouldn't buy these weapons. but the a.t.f. has fewer employees -- it had fewer employees in 2017 than it did in 2002 to enforce these laws. the atf literally has fewer special agents than the
10:17 pm
washington, d.c. metropolitan police -- has more officers. they have 70060a.t.f. investigators responsible -- 760 a.t.f. investigators who are responsible for 130 thousand federal firearms licensees. that atf leader that i first met when i was mayor told me we were asked to do our job with both hands tied behind our backs and our feet in leg irons. all this talk about the legislation we are proposing, common sense bipartisan legislation, it is almost obscuring the fact that we have an agency that has the power to protect americans, but we are not finding it, we are not supporting it, and we have done outrageous things to it like not allowing it to use computers! i will submit this to the record, that we literally have this insanity that when there is a going out of business gun retailer, first of all, there is
10:18 pm
what is called a firesale loophole. mr. chairman, i know you know this they have to do background checks when they are selling their guns, but when going out of business, they can dump their inventory on people without doing background checks. and when the a.t.f. tries to keep records of this, they have to keep them all on paper. it gets so bad that the a.t.f. have to put them into shipping containers outside because the floor of the building would buckle. it is so ridiculous what my republican colleagues have gone over the years to undermine law enforcement from protecting communities. so, sir, i just want you to know, that bless you for stepping up to lead an agency that hasn't had a head for the longest time, that donald trump couldn't even get a head because
10:19 pm
of a very corporate industrial-driven lobby is dictating policy here more than the good conscience of folks. but i hope that when you come for your first oversight hearing because we are going to get you confirmed -- i will work like crazy to make sure that happens -- i just hope you will look congress in the eye and tell them, like i was told as a new mayor, that you don't have the resources to enforce the laws of the united states of america. that you don't have the personnel to adequately enforce the laws of the united states of america, that you don't have the computer equipment, that there are riders that have been put in that undermine your ability to do the job. that there are technologies out there that can make us super that you are not allowed to use. this is a shameful charade. this is despicable. that the same people who try to accuse us wrongfully of defending the police have taken one of the most important enforcement agencies to protect
10:20 pm
americans, to protect our children, our churches, mosques, synagogues, parks, our supermarkets, is not allowed to do their job. and we yet again are sacrificing our children on the altar of inaction. and it hurts. and you know where i live. i have most kids i know. i see shrines on streets. when my law enforcement wants to do the job in partnership with the a.t.f., there is barrier after barrier put up by congress . so, dear god, bless you and your family for leading an agency where you will be attacked every single day when you just try to enforce the laws that are on the books. you are going to be vilified and cursed. a see it happening right now, people trying to block your nomination. i simply say to you, god bless you.
10:21 pm
you are doing righteous work. i have faith that you will protect citizens. but that shame is not on you or your agency and the proud law enforcement officers who dedicate themselves to our safety, the shame is on this body for what we're doing not to support you. may god bless this country. may reconfirm you. and me we somehow end -- and may we somehow end this national nightmare of people dying by gun violence. >> thank you, senator booker. >> thank you, mr. chair. like several members of the committee, i want to share a couple of remarks in response to the tragedy from yesterday. i know our time is so limited. i will give my questions first and then finish with the remarks on what happened in uvalde yesterday. mr. dettelbach, welcome. as u.s. attorney, i understand you prosecuted a number of
10:22 pm
suspects for violent crimes, including those using guns. we know president biden has made it a priority for the administration to disrupt what experts refer to as the iron pipeline. the pipeline refers to the path by which guns flow from southern states with looser restrictions up i-95 to northern states with stricter gun laws. by the way, it is not the only region to have these pipelines, there are pipelines with similar dynamics in other parts of the country, including out west. but the iron pipeline has undermined efforts of major states and cities to protect their communities who pass laws to help prevent gun violence. a number of states continue to expand access to firearms and loosen restrictions without justification. the lack of action at the federal level leaves communities at the mercy of what it seems to be a race to the bottom.
10:23 pm
mr. dettelbach, can you briefly describe how the iron pipeline increases the prevalence of gun violence in american cities, and why it federal response is required? >> senator, in my time as a prosecutor, especially as u.s. attorney, i learned that one of the most important tools we have is data. we follow the data so that we don't let our predilections interfere with our resources. i am not free to all of the data , but i know that the president and the attorney general have prioritized based on data, certain regions in areas where we have seen an increase in firearms trafficking, and established task forces because that's another tool in addition to data. so that federal law enforcement can be a force multiplier for state law enforcement in trying to disrupt illegal gun trafficking. so i believe that that's an
10:24 pm
effective approach. i believe we need to scale it, i'm not in the atf yet so i don't know the specific areas where we're seeing the trafficking, but i think that's an important approach. >> well, once you are there, you will be privy to the data. you will see the data justifies my statement. the president is focused on this and i pray your response when the time comes -- you know, data tells us that it's not the only issue. there is an increasing concern about the prevalence of ghost guns and their impact on public safety. look, i represent california, and i'm proud of the state's efforts to address gun violence broadly starting with the governor, legislative leaders and others. in addition to the dynamic of the iron pipeline california's , laws and restrictions versus other states in the west, ghost guns are increasingly a top priority. last year senators blumenthal , and senator cruz held a subcommittee hearing on this
10:25 pm
very important topic. ghost guns are weapons built by individuals using components they've purchased online these guns lacks serial numbers, typically used to track weapons by law enforcement. so no serial numbers. no data. to your point. and because these guns are usually built at the purchaser's home, there is also no background check that goes along with it, no registration process , not even an age limit on the books. clearly, ghost guns have become a problem throughout the country. southern california in particular, balance with the involvement of ghost guns is up significantly. sinew just briefly discuss the ramifications involved if unregulated gun production continues to increase? >> senator, one of the things i have done up until now since my nomination, is talk to a lot of law enforcement officials.
10:26 pm
and they have told me that ghost guns present them with the violent crime problem. my understanding of the regulation that the a.t.f. put out is that it would require serial numbers and background checks for a certain category of individually-made firearms, and that would enable people to avoid -- not to avoid a background check by, for instance, producing one of these buy-build-shoot kits, which is basically a gun that you assemble all your point together. closing that loophole would enable us to close the loophole -- would enable us to get serial numbers from guns found at crime scenes and would also enable us in certain circumstances to run background checks on individuals
10:27 pm
to prevent people who everybody agrees should not have a firearm , from having one. >> ok, thank you. you look forward to following up with you on these critical issues. in closing, i just want to join the course in members of this committee and the senate in sharing my condolences to the families and communities reeling from recent gun violence across the country, from buffalo, new york, to laguna woods, california, and now, the uvalde, texas. the gun violence that our communities are experiencing is simply, simply unacceptable. i have spoken non-stop since yesterday's tragedy not just as a senator, but mr. chair, as you know, as a father of three young school-aged children. it shouldn't have to be the case. in the last two weeks, we have experienced at least 22 mass shootings across the country no
10:28 pm
. no other developed country has two deal with this. but we do. now, some folks suggest that arming teachers or providing more armed presidents own school campuses will make them safer. if more guns were the answer, the united states would be the safest nation in the world but it's not the case. when i was growing up, i remember on at least an annual basis, we would go through these fire drills at school -- what to do if there is a fire on campus. i come from california, a group in california so we are also not unfamiliar with earthquake drills. to think that our young people today have to practice active shooter training. it is a sad statement in our society, when young children don't feel safe going to school. but people have to wonder whether it's safe to go to a grocery store or a house of worship.
10:29 pm
it's a nightmare come true. i know the jurisdiction over gun safety straddles a few committees they said on the homeland security committee. but this is the primary, the judiciary committee. and i hope that we can find the will to advance common sense gun safety legislation. because, yes, it is a choice to take action. inaction is also a choice. i choose to take action. we can't sit idly by and watch children in america die to gun violence. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator padilla. >> judge. how are you? >> i am fine, thank you. how are you? >> i am fine. . i wanted to ask you a question as we wrap up here. you have been a magistrate seven years? >> yes. >> a near-record, is there a limitation on the types of cases you can sit on? >> [inaudible]
10:30 pm
>> pulled the microphone closer to you if you can, make sure the red light is on. >> magistrate judges under the -- to be a presiding judge under the statute you need consent of all the parties. >> your experience in the criminal field, did you have previous assignments as assistant u.s. attorney or otherwise? >> i prosecuted one criminal trial as a federal magistrate judge we handle all criminal matters up to the point of arraignment. >> including trials? >> including trials. we included federal misdemeanor cases. >> i looked at the cases you handled. quite a variety and surprising. the magistrate in my area is chosen by the other judges is that the case in your situation? >> and the district of colorado
10:31 pm
it first go through a nonpartisan community, that makes recommendations to our district judges and our district judges make the final decision. >> thank you. i wanted to make that for the record. i understand the senator cannot join us physically but i would like to dashboard like to come on remotely -- with but come on remotely. issue ready? -- issue --is she ready? >> i was asked to meet with the prime minister of new zealand. >> well, i was actually at the hearing. it is so important now, as senator padilla has pointed out that with such -- and you have senator durbin, time and time again the shootings happen whether it has happened in buffalo or yesterday, sandy hook, i remember after parkland, being invited when president
10:32 pm
trump was in office, over to the white house and i still have the piece of paper were wrote down how many times he said that he wanted to get universal background checks done, not once, twice, not three times but nine times at that meeting. he said he wanted to get universal background checks done. the next day, he went and met with the nra and he changed it -- his mind. i think that is happening too much in this country and it is time to stand up to them. mr. dettelbach, i ushered through the last atf nominee that made it. that was todd jones of the state of minnesota. he got republican support. i remember we had to lead a vote open on the floor for hours but we got it done. i hope that happens with you, with your background, with everything that has been pointed out, including what the
10:33 pm
president of the international associations of police have said, the support that you have had, from federal law enforcement association, major county sheriff's of america. i actually talked about you to my u.s. attorney, who knows you. i have heard from him and others about the work you've done to combat gun violence. can you tell me about some of the successful initiatives that you led as u.s. attorney to address gun violence? >> thank you, senator. the two u.s. attorneys i worked from with your district were both incredible people. i had the privilege of working with them. i learned a lot from hearing things that they were doing in your state. one program that i thought was a very good program was something
10:34 pm
called the northern ohio violent crime contortion. it was a program that was started by my predecessor. the bush u.s. attorney, it was an excellent program but it involved trying to use grant money to get the eight largest police department in the district to pilot program data usage and data-driven policing. so, one of the problems that local law enforcement faces is that they do not have enough on sometimes to be creative. they are so busy and focused on 911 response times, as we can all understand. we were able, through the department of justice, start this task force to give them, the chief some money, to be creative with. it was incredible to see what they came up with. every city was different. they all spent it on different things. one, better camera systems, that fed directly into 911 responses. a second one, wanted to focus on
10:35 pm
gathering data from a certain district in their city that had high crime. so, that was a great program. listening to local law enforcement about what they need. >> very good. i truly appreciate that. one last question because i know you have had a long hearing, as senator durbin pointed out. last november, booker and i sent a letter to the attorney general about the proliferation of so-called gun modification devices, which can effectively turn a semi automatic into a fully automatic. these devices can sadly be purchased cheaply online or 3d printed. they are often imported from overseas. they can be purchased for as little as $19. how can the atf help local law enforcement, you talk about that
10:36 pm
partnership, to address these legal -- illegal devices? >> i am generally familiar with the problems involving converting weapons that are legal weapons into illegal weapons and automatic weapons fall into that category. i do not know about where things stand, currently on that. but i would commit to you, that i can confirm i can look into that and i would love to work together to find solutions. >> well, thank you, i wish you well and i hope we can get through your nomination -- get your nomination on swiftly. >> before i adjourn today's hearing, i want to make a quick logistical note. questions for the record will be due to the nominees by 5:00 p.m. on wednesday, june 1. the record will remain open to cement letters and similar materials. with that, this committee stands adjourned. i think all family and friends and nominees for their patients.
10:37 pm
10:38 pm
10:39 pm
>> c-span's washington journal, everyday we are taking your calls alive and on the air, on news of the day. we will discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, executive director of united america will talk about proposals to bridge the political divide. on the second anniversary of the murder of george floyd, assistant professor of justice, law and criminology at american university, discusses policing and criminal just -- policing in the u.s.. watch washington journal live. on c-span or c-span now a free mobile video app.
10:40 pm
join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. >> thursday, the senate armed service committee considers the nomination of general christopher to be commander of the united states european command and supreme allied commander for europe. watch live beginning at 9:30 a.m. on c-span, c-span now our free will -- video app, or >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies on more, including cox. >> cox is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet, through the connector compete program. bridging the digital divide when connected and engage student at a time. cox, bringing us closer. >> cox support c-span as a public service along with these other television


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on