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GOP chairman: Time to remove IRS chief

Haiyun Jiang

It’s time for Congress to remove the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) chief, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday at the opening of an impeachment hearing for John Koskinen.

“As members of Congress we have no reason to have any confidence that Mr. Koskinen will run one of the most powerful agencies with any integrity,” Chaffetz said in his written testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. “Nor can the American people feel confident the agency won’t misuse its power under his direction.

{mosads}”For these reasons, it is time for Congress to act and remove him as head of the agency,” Chaffetz said.

Koskinen took office after it came to light that the IRS had imposed extra scrutiny on Tea Party groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.

Chaffetz said Koskinen failed to comply with a congressional subpoena and allowed former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails to be destroyed.

Additionally, Chaffetz said Koskinen promised that the IRS would produce all of Lerner’s emails despite the fact that some of them were missing. He didn’t notify Congress about the missing emails until a later date. 

“Mr. Koskinen prevented Congress — and the American people — from ever learning exactly how and why their First Amendment rights were violated,” he said.

Chaffetz also said Americans could still be targeted by the IRS for their beliefs. He cited a Government Accountability Office report from last July that found nothing had been done to ensure the IRS wouldn’t engage in targeting again.

The Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday to examine Koskinen’s alleged improprieties relating to Congress’s investigation into the political-targeting scandal. 

Koskinen is not appearing at the hearing, but in written testimony he rebutted all of Chaffetz’s points.

Tags Jason Chaffetz

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