House GOP moves to impeach IRS chief

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House Republicans have moved to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, arguing he violated the public trust.

Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced an impeachment resolution Tuesday, days after the Justice Department concluded its investigation into IRS targeting of Tea Party groups with no charges filed.

{mosads}“Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust. He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled,” Chaffetz said in a statement. “Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, compared GOP efforts to the Benghazi and Planned Parenthood investigations.

“It appears that facts simply don’t matter to Republicans,” Cummings said in a statement. 

“This ridiculous resolution will demonstrate nothing but the Republican obsession with diving into investigative rabbit holes that waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars while having absolutely no positive impact on a single American,” he said.

Much of the committee’s impeachment charge centers around the destruction of several backup tapes that could have contained missing emails sent by Lois Lerner, the former official at the center of the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups.

Chaffetz’s resolution charges that Koskinen, who took over the IRS after the controversy emerged, failed to preserve 422 backup tapes that could have contained Lerner emails.

Republicans have argued Koskinen was not truthful when he told lawmakers he would hand over all her documents, given the destruction of the backups. Chaffetz also charged that Koskinen failed to notify Congress the evidence was missing.

But, in the past, the IRS has said it has fully complied with all investigations.

In July, Chaffetz’s panel indicated it could pursue action against Koskinen, after arguing he had misled the committee and impeded its investigation into the improper scrutiny. The committee had previously called for Koskinen to be fired.

—Vicki Needham contributed.

Tags Internal Revenue Service Jason Chaffetz Jason Chaffetz John Koskinen Lois Lerner
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