IRS commissioner to testify on controversy Wednesday

John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, will testify Wednesday about the IRS’s response to congressional investigations of the agency’s targeting controversy.

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Koskinen will testify before the House Oversight Committee, where Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), have sparred repeatedly over the committee’s inquiry.

In a Monday release, Issa’s office said this week’s hearing would examine how the IRS has responded to congressional document requests, and to subpoenas from the Oversight Committee.

Issa and other Republicans have sharply criticized the agency for being slow to respond to their requests, and have suggested that the White House has not taken the controversy seriously enough.

For his part, Koskinen has said that no one wants the congressional investigations to be concluded more quickly than him.

The hearing comes as House Republicans continue to show an interest in holding Lois Lerner, a central figure in the investigation, in contempt of Congress.

Lerner has twice invoked her Fifth Amendment rights in front of House Oversight. But Republicans on the panel have ruled that she waived those rights by saying she had done nothing wrong in an opening statement last May.