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Ark. AG demands release of ATF Malinowski raid footage to ensure transparency

Ark. Attorney General Tim Griffin
Talk Business and Politics
Ark. Attorney General Tim Griffin

Attorney General Tim Griffin said the government footage from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] raid on the home of Little Rock Airport Director Bryan Malinowski should be released immediately. Malinowski died in a shootout with authorities.

Appearing on Talk Business & Politics and Capitol View this Sunday (April 14), the state’s top law enforcement and legal officer said he has been troubled by the few facts that have come out so far on the high-profile raid that took place on March 19.

“As someone who couldn’t be a bigger law enforcement supporter, when our government acts in a particular way that raises questions, we have an obligation to say [something]… My understanding, having looked at the ATF rules is that they generally require a body cam when there’s a preplanned raid, right? Why? Well, because information from a camera helps fill the vacuum of conspiracy and all this other stuff. So record it with a body cam that’s required and then there’s policy that it shall be released as soon as possible,” Griffin said.

“I think there are a lot of questions that have been raised by journalists, by attorneys, by just citizens saying, ‘Hey, what’s the deal here? Look, this is bizarre that there’s just been silence.’ I understand there’s a state investigation going on with it, but there’s nothing about this footage that should stop it from being released,” he added.

Malinowski was being investigated by ATF authorities because he had been buying and selling guns at local gun shows through a loophole in federal law that did not require him to be registered as a gun dealer. There is a question about subjectivity in defining when a person selling guns at gun shows qualifies as a dealer. On Friday (April 12), President Biden’s administration proposed a regulation to address the gun show loophole.

Griffin said he would be joining a lawsuit led by other Republican Attorneys General to oppose the Biden administration rule.

“I’ve joined up with some other estates to sue the Biden administration over this, and it has to do with them going beyond their authority,” Griffin said. When asked what his solution would be, Griffin said his primary objection is that Congress – not the president – needs to pass a law to change the gun show loophole.

“I think it’s a bad idea in this particular case, the way they’re doing it,” he said. “This is not within the Biden Administration’s unilateral power to act. We’ve seen it with student loans, we’ve seen it with the gun laws. We’ve seen it with all these different environmental wrecks when they don’t get what they want through Congress, which I understand it’s not a friendly Congress to a lot of their views.”

Griffin also addressed a recent opinion he issued to Gov. Sarah Sanders about procurement rules for constitutional officers. The AG said issuing the opinion is part of his job and is not meant to provide commentary on the controversy surrounding the governor’s purchase of a $19,000 lectern, which a legislative audit will report on this week.

“First of all, this went through the same exact process that every other opinion goes through. We don’t wade into the facts of situations,” he said. “Critics don’t know what they’re talking about… A governor, a legislator at any time can ask for an opinion and we issue opinions. We get a lot from legislators and we answer every opinion unless there’s pending litigation or something like that. So this is routine. If an opinion benefits somebody, all opinions benefit somebody. If an opinion offends somebody, all opinions generally offend somebody. Right? Because you’re taking a position. Welcome to government service.”

You can watch Griffin’s full interview in the video below.

Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics.
This content has been contributed by the staff of our content partners Talk Business and Politics.