Tuesday May 24, 2016 – House Republicans will start considering whether to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over accusations that he failed to comply with a subpoena and lied to Congress, multiple sources told sources.
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday announced plans for two hearings over the next several weeks to examine the “misconduct” of Koskinen. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee say the commissioner misled Congress about the status of sensitive emails regarding the IRS tea party scandal. Those documents were deleted during their probe of the scandal.
“The fact that officials at the IRS wielded their power to target certain Americans for their political views is both outrageous and contrary to our nation’s values,” Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a statement provided to sources. “Despite repeated congressional efforts to get to the bottom of this matter, Obama Administration officials, including the IRS Commissioner, have consistently undermined the investigation.”
House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a fervent IRS watchdog, have talked for well over a year about impeaching the IRS commissioner. They introduced a resolution to do just that with several dozen GOP co-sponsors.
The hearings are a victory for Chaffetz and Jordan. GOP leadership has pushed back on their pitch for months, but the hearings signal top Republicans are at least considering the matter. The speaker’s office is aware of the committee’s plan and supportive of the traditional committee process to examine the merits, said a source familiar with Speaker Paul Ryan’s thinking.
Jordan called the hearings the “right first step, but ultimately Congress should hold a vote on impeachment,” he said. He and Chaffetz are likely to continue to press Republican leadership to allow a full vote on the floor on the matter.
“I applaud Chairman Goodlatte’s decision to hold a hearing on the resolution for impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen,” Jordan said in a statement. “Commissioner Koskinen failed to fulfill his duty to the American people by allowing back-up tapes … to be destroyed … It’s time for him to go.”