Tags: koskinen | irs | impeach | huelskamp

Obama: GOP 'Crazy' to Attempt IRS Commissioner Impeachment

Image: Obama: GOP 'Crazy' to Attempt IRS Commissioner Impeachment

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (AP)

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Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 07:50 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As embattled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen faces an impeachment push by House Republicans, the White House, defending Koskinen, pushed back.

Speaking Tuesday at the home of a wealthy Democratic donor in Manhattan President Obama called the move to impeach Koskinen “crazy.”

When I pressed White House spokesman Josh Earnest on the matter he told me, “I think it’s an indication they are entirely focused on the wrong priorities.”

The impeachment motion was filed on Tuesday by Republican Reps. Tim Huelskamp and John Fleming.

Koskinen, an appointee of President Obama, has long been accused by Fleming, Huelskamp, and other conservative lawmakers of refusing to cooperate with Congress in investigations of alleged IRS harassment of conservative and tea party organizations.

Earnest had harsh words for Huelskamp: “To a certain extent, the people of Kansas have spoken on this. As I recall, Mr. Huelskamp lost his most recent primary.”

Earnest said that by pushing for the impeachment of the controversial IRS chief, Huelskamp “is engaging in exactly the same behavior that got him voted out of office.”

Of Fleming, Earnest said, “you would think that after his state had sustained such significant flooding damage, that his priorities would be focused not on irresponsible political games but actually trying to represent the legitimate interests of the people of Louisiana — particularly after they had gone through such a terrible crisis.”

Earnest added, “the people of Louisiana will also have an opportunity to weigh in at the ballot box in a couple of months, too.” (Fleming is one of several candidates vying for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. David Vitter.)

Obama added: “He responded to inquiries from one of the many congressional hearings to try to ferret out a scandal and I guess left some documents out inadvertently,” and Republicans now feel “this is a good reason to impeach the guy.”

At a news conference shortly after Earnest’s remarks, Republican House members supporting the removal of Koskinen as IRS commissioner underscored their support for an up-or-down vote on his impeachment Thursday.

“You should ask Mr. Earnest whether he feels Mr. Koskinen has restored confidence in the IRS,” House GOP Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan told me, reiterating the charges of several of his colleagues that Koskinen should be removed for “dereliction of duty” and “gross negligence.”

Worst of all, charged Jordan, the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS “is still going on. The Albuquerque Tea Party has now been waiting six years [to receive its tax-exempt status from the IRS].”

“No one can lie with impunity and no one should be above the law,” Huelskamp said, adding that Koskinen has “lied under oath and lied to me personally.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

 

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As embattled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen faces an impeachment push by House Republicans, the White House, defending Koskinen, pushed back.
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2016-50-15
Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 07:50 AM
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