Friday May 13, 2016 – House Republicans on Friday announced hearings to investigate whether IRS Commissioner John Koskinen misled Congress and violated a subpoena, taking the first steps that could ultimately lead to his impeachment over the tax agency’s tea party targeting.
Impeachment is still very unlikely, particularly given the short amount of work days left in this Congress and in the Obama administration’s tenure overall.
But conservatives are intent on exploring Mr. Koskinen’s actions after the IRS was ordered to preserve and turn over documents related to targeting of tea party groups — and particularly emails from former senior executive Lois G. Lerner.
Mr. Koskinen’s accusers say he failed to comply with a congressional subpoena on those documents, and instead he allowed backup tapes of the emails to be destroyed.
He also said his agency was unable to find the backups of some of Mrs. Lerner’s emails — but the IRS’s own internal auditor was able to discover thousands of them with little effort. The internal auditor concluded that the agency erased 422 backup tapes that should have been protected by the subpoena.
The IRS did not have an immediate comment on the move to hold hearings.