The head of ATF recently warned employees that they will face "consequences" if they don't "respect the chain of command," in what Republican lawmakers are decrying as an "ominous message" meant to frighten would-be whistle-blowers in the wake of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., fired off a letter Wednesday to Acting Director B. Todd Jones saying the message "could be interpreted as a threat" and urging him to clarify.
"It was scary," Issa told Fox News on Thursday, in reference to Jones' video message to employees.
In the July 9 video message, Jones touched on a topic he described as "choices and consequences." By that, Jones said, he was talking about "organizational discipline" and the need for workers to "play by the rules" -- embedded in the warning was the line about properly raising internal concerns.