IRS chief brushes aside GOP threats

IRS chief brushes aside GOP threats
© Greg Nash

The IRS commissioner on Wednesday brushed aside a group of House Republicans who have urged President Obama to fire him.

John Koskinen, the tax chief, denied that he'd misled Congress, as Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzElijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke MORE (R-Utah) and 20 other GOP lawmakers have said. 

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He also suggested that the Republicans were coming after him because they don't like what congressional investigations into the IRS's improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups had found.

"I understand the committee's disappointed that there hasn't been more evidence supporting where they originally started," Koskinen told reporters after testifying at a Judiciary subcommittee hearing presided over by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Senate Republicans air complaints to Trump administration on trade deal MORE (R-Texas).

"I've testified honestly and truthfully about what I knew at the time I knew it," Koskinen added. "We've provided them a phenomenal amount of information. And if it hasn't met all their expectations about the substance of it, that's not our fault."

Chaffetz and the GOP lawmakers said Monday that they'd already started contempt of Congress proceedings against Koskinen and wouldn't rule out seeking impeachment if Obama didn't act. A federal judge also threatened Koskinen with contempt of Congress on Wednesday.

The GOP lawmakers say that Koskinen misled Congress about the IRS's efforts to recover thousands of lost emails to and from former employee Lois Lerner, the central figure in the Tea Party controversy, and obstructed their investigation in other ways.