IRS chief blasts impeachment push in Chaffetz's home state

IRS chief blasts impeachment push in Chaffetz's home state
© Greg Nash

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is warning that the push by Rep. 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) to impeach him could discourage others from taking government jobs, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"If this is the signal we are sending to people thinking about coming to take a senior position in government, it's going to make it harder for good people to come in," Koskinen said Wednesday while visiting an IRS service center in Utah.

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Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has introduced resolutions to impeach and censure Koskinen.

He has said Koskinen did not comply with a subpoena and made false and misleading statements under oath during a congressional investigation into the IRS's scrutiny of conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status.

The Oversight Committee approved the censure resolution in June. Earlier this month, Reps. John FlemingJohn Calvin FlemingThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles Overnight Energy: Watchdog opens investigation into Interior chief | Judge halts Pruitt truck pollution rule decision | Winners, losers in EPA, Interior spending bill amendments MORE (R-La.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) offered a privileged resolution to impeach Koskinen in an effort to force a floor vote on the matter.

Koskinen told reporters in Utah that he has testified before Congress truthfully. Because of Republicans' attacks on him, future presidents may have a harder time finding people who will take jobs as the heads of federal agencies, he added.

"It's going to be interesting to see who wants to take this seat next," he said.

Koskinen also said the IRS is an easy political target. 

"The IRS is not necessarily anyone's favorite agency. So once you get an issue that is good for politics and good for campaigning, it is kind of attractive to keep that issue alive," he told reporters in Utah.

Koskinen also criticized Republicans' cuts to the IRS budget in recent years, saying it hurt the agency's staff levels and customer service. Chaffetz told the Tribune that Koskinen should resign if he wants to end the damage to the agency.

"He can solve this himself by doing the right thing for the nation and stepping aside," the congressman said. "He is so egotistical that he can't bear to do that."