EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Joni Ernst Calls For Investigations Into ATF Bureaucrats Posing As Law Enforcement, Wasting Millions

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst sent a letter Tuesday to Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz, calling on him to work with whistleblowers to fully investigate and recover misspent taxpayer funds from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which mentions the ATF’s whistleblowers and an Office of Special Counsel report showing that the ATF has routinely misclassified administrative positions as law enforcement jobs, improperly costing taxpayers millions in pay and enhanced benefits over a five-year span, something Ernst feels needs to be investigated.

“On May 2, 2023, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) alerted President Biden and the Congress of substantial waste, mismanagement, and unlawful employment practices at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). This alert substantiated the claims of two whistleblowers from ATF’s human resources office. Specifically, the whistleblowers claimed the ATF was systemically and wrongfully classifying non-law enforcement jobs as law enforcement,” Ernst wrote in the letter.

“This resulted in ATF bureaucrats being provided pay and benefits reserved for those law enforcement personnel including enhanced retirement benefits and premium pay rates in accordance with Law Enforcement Availability Pay,” she added.


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

In the letter, Ernst calls for an update to the status of her request no later than June 6, 2023.

“I’m horrified paper-pushing bureaucrats at the ATF had a systematic scheme to pose as law enforcement officers in order to steal enhanced pay and benefits. This is not only immoral, it’s also illegal – wrongfully costing Americans millions over the past five years,” Ernst told the Caller before sending the letter. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Demand Answers On Rights Of Americans To Build Silencers)

“ATF’s culture of gross mismanagement must be closely examined and overhauled. I’ll continue fighting to claw back our money, hold fraudsters accountable, and uncover the full extent of ATF’s dishonest dealings,” Ernst added. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House, Senate Republicans Demand DOJ, ATF Turn Over Details Of ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy For Gun Licenses)

The Caller contacted the DOJ about the letter to which they did not immediately respond.