Congress Moves Forward With Impeachment of IRS Commissioner

Katie Pavlich
Posted: May 13, 2016 2:30 PM
Congress Moves Forward With Impeachment of IRS Commissioner

Hearings to determine whether IRS Commissioner John Koskinen should be impeached for misconduct will soon be underway on Capitol Hill. 

A resolution to impeach Koskinen was introduced last year by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz over the stonewalling and obstruction of ongoing congressional investigations into IRS targeting of conservative groups. Now, the House Judiciary Committee will hold two hearings on the resolution and will determine whether to proceed with impeachment. 

The Committee argues Koskinen "failed to comply with a congressional subpoena which resulted in destruction of key evidence, made false statements during his sworn congressional testimony, and did not notify Congress that Lois Lerner’s emails were missing." The first hearing will examine a lengthy Oversight Committee report detailing Koskinen's conduct and a second hearing will bring in outside witnesses to determine whether "further congressional action is warranted." 

"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. Our government is supposed to work for all Americans, not for a particular partisan agenda. As a result of the IRS’ targeting, conservative groups were singled out across the nation, resulting in lengthy paperwork requirements, overly burdensome information requests, and lengthy, unwarranted delays in their applications," Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte released in a statement. “Despite repeated congressional efforts to get to the bottom of this matter, Obama Administration officials, including the IRS Commissioner, have consistently undermined the investigation. Over the coming weeks, the House Judiciary Committee will closely examine Commissioner Koskinen’s misconduct and the implications of his actions.”

The House Freedom Caucus is applauding the move. 

“The House Freedom Caucus applauds Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte’s decision to initiate hearings on the impeachment of the IRS Commissioner. Commissioner Koskinen must be held accountable for years of stonewalling Congress’ oversight efforts, obfuscating justice, providing false testimony before Congress, and failing to hold agency officials liable for unlawfully targeting groups based on their beliefs," The House Freedom Caucus released in a statement. "Since the revelation that the IRS systematically targeted conservatives for years, the IRS—under Koskinen’s watch—has done little to reform internal protocol to ensure that every American’s First Amendment rights are protected. Federal officials must be accountable to the American people. It is long past time that Commissioner Koskinen be removed from his post. The House Freedom Caucus strongly supports these efforts to do so.”

The first hearing will take place on May 24 with the second following at some point in June.