McConnell: Trump should replace IRS commissioner

Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says President Trump should replace John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner who faced an impeachment vote in the House last year. 

“I think he’s been a disaster and I’d be shocked if we don’t have a new one,” McConnell told The Hill on Friday.

President Obama nominated Koskinen in August of 2013, and his term expires in November of 2017. McConnell voted against his nomination.

{mosads}Critics have accused Koskinen of not fully cooperating with an investigation into allegations that the tax agency purposely delayed applications for tax-exempt status by conservative groups.

Koskinen has come under fire for the handling of internal emails by Lois Lerner, an official at the center of the scandal. 

The agency informed Congress in June of 2014 that it was unable to recover Lerner’s emails from 2009 to 2011 because of a computer crash. 

Koskinen had pledged only a few months earlier to a House committee that he would work to restore the public’s trust. 

The Trump transition team said in December that the then-president-elect had not yet made a decision on whether to replace Koskinen immediately or allow him to serve out the remaining year of his term.

Bloomberg reported last month that Koskinen expressed interest in serving under Trump. He wants the agency to have a technical role in helping Republicans in Congress pass tax reform.

Koskinen said he would step down if requested by Trump, whom he has known for decades because of the president’s career in real estate.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a leading House conservative, tried to force a vote on Koskinen’s impeachment in December, but the chamber voted overwhelmingly, 342-72, to send the issue back to the Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus representing a majority of House Republicans, is circulating a petition pressing Trump to remove Koskinen, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.

It already has 50 signatures. 

Tags Mitch McConnell

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