GOP Lawmakers Introduce Resolution to Impeach IRS Commissioner

GOP Lawmakers Introduce Resolution to Impeach IRS Commissioner

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and 18 Republican members of his committee have introduced a resolution to begin proceedings in the House to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen.

“Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust,” Chaffetz said in a statement Tuesday. “He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled. Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress. This action will demonstrate to the American people that the IRS is under repair, and signal that executive branch officials who violate the public trust will be held accountable.”

The resolution accuses Koskinen of violating the public trust by failing to fully comply with a subpoena for emails from Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit, who was ousted in 2013 after admitting that the IRS had used inappropriate terms such as “Tea Party” and “Patriot” to filter through applications from political groups seeking tax-exempt status. The committee chairman said the IRS erased 422 backup tapes containing up to 24,000 of Lerner’s emails and failed to notify Congress the evidence was missing. Chaffetz also claims Koskinen “failed to testify truthfully and provided false and misleading information” when he said the IRS turned over all emails relevant to the congressional investigation, including all of Lerner’s emails. When the agency determined Lerner’s emails were missing, Koskinen testified the emails were unrecoverable, although many of the missing emails were later recovered by the Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration. The resolution will go to the House Judiciary Committee for deliberation.

The IRS disputed the charges in the House Republicans’ resolution. “The IRS vigorously disputes the allegations in the resolution,” said a statement emailed by an IRS spokesman to Accounting Today. “We have fully cooperated with all of the investigations.”

The ranking Democrat on Chaffetz’s committee, Elijah Cummings, D-Md., condemned the impeachment resolution.  Read more on Accounting Today.