RSC chairman urges Trump to dismiss IRS chief

RSC chairman urges Trump to dismiss IRS chief
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Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) is circulating a letter to his colleagues urging President Trump to fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

"Such an action would restore the credibility of our Federal tax authority and the faith the American people have in their Constitutional rights to free speech and association," the letter states.

The letter is expected to be sent in the next few days and already has more than 50 signers, RSC aides said.

Some House Republicans have pushed for Koskinen's ouster for more than a year, accusing him of impeding congressional investigations into the IRS's handling of conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status. The House Freedom Caucus tried to force a floor vote on a resolution to impeach Koskinen in December, but the effort failed and the resolution was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

"Congressional investigations, hearings, and actions have shown that Commissioner Koskinen mislead Congress, obstructed investigations into the IRS, and failed to comply with Congressional subpoenas," the letter states. "Commissioner Koskinen’s willful deception and obstructionism has only further eroded any remaining confidence." 

Koskinen has said the allegations against him lack merit.

He became IRS commissioner in 2013, after the political-targeting scandal broke, and his term expires in November 2017. Koskinen has said that he intends to complete his term but would step down sooner if asked to do so by the president.

A White House spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the letter. Koskinen has told reporters that the issue of his tenure did not come up in meetings with Trump's transition team.

The Washington Examiner first reported on Walker's letter.

Meanwhile, Politico reported that during congressional Republicans' retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) asked Vice President Pence if he would ask Koskinen to resign. Pence replied that he would look into the issue.