IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's continued employment has baffled some conservatives. Why, having fired several Obama appointees, would Trump keep the scandal-plagued commissioner?
Koskinen was not employed with the IRS when the agency was targeting conservative groups, a scandal we just recently learned was more expansive than we first thought, but he was less-than-cooperative with Congress in their investigation of the targeting. During the congressional probe, Republicans charged Koskinen with offering misleading testimony and allowing key evidence to be destroyed.
Fifteen members of the House Ways and Means Committee, led by chairman Kevin Brady, are demanding Trump remove Koskinen ASAP, especially as they get to work on tax reform. They sent a letter to the White House with their request soon after Koskinen's annual address at the National Press Club. In addition to his handling of the conservative targeting scandal, the lawmakers criticize Koskinen for overseeing poor customer service for the year 2015 thanks to the agency's cutting its taxpayer service budget.
“He has been dishonest with Congress, and the IRS—under his watch—has continuously violated taxpayer rights," Brady writes. "He has to go. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for pro-growth tax reform, and we need a willing partner at the IRS to implement it. That partner is not John Koskinen.”
Despite calls for his removal, Koskinen plans to serve out his term until it expires in November.