Skip to main content

Senate hearing delayed for ATF nominee B. Todd Jones

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A U.S. Senate panel had been expected Tuesday morning to hold a hearing on B. Todd Jones, the Minnesota U.S. Attorney who President Obama nominated to be the next director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

But Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Senate Judiciary Committee's top-ranking Republican, delayed the hearing. Grassley said the Obama administration has not handed committee members information on Jones that the panel has been seeking, MPR reports.

"If we're going to do our job of consenting to the president's nominees, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, you've got to have information," Grassley said, MPR reported. "And you're entitled to that information, and you can't conduct a hearing if you don't have the information."

The Jones nomination has stirred some controversy. He's been accused of mismanagement and targeting whistleblowers. Grassley has previously raised concerns about Jones.

Jones, a 56-year-old former Marine, has been acting director of the ATF since August 2011, as well as the leader of the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's office.

The ATF is an agency within the Justice Department with nearly 5,000 employees and a $1.1 billion budget. It is charged with regulating the gun industry, among a wide array of other responsibilities, including reducing violent crime and preventing terrorism. ATF agents were among those who rushed to the scene of the Boston bombing, as well as to the scene of a plant explosion in West, Texas, earlier this year.

But the agency, which has been beset by scandals, including the Fast and Furious scandal, has been without a permanent director for almost seven years, largely due to political sparring. Gun lobbyists have sought to undercut the agency and pushed to limit its power and slash bureau funding, the New York Times reported earlier this year.

A lack of permanent leadership has hurt the agency, observers say, NPR reported last month.

Next Up

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.


7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 17

72 hours of case data reported over the weekend is included in Tuesday updates.

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

City of Minneapolis, Jaleel Stallings reach $1.5M settlement

Although a settlement was made, the city will not admit fault or take any responsibility for the incident as part of the agreement with Stallings.


2 rescued after kayaks capsize on Sauk River

Recent heavy rainfall produced a strong currents on the water.