Tags: GOP2016 | koskinen | irs | lois lerner | impeach

After House Hearing, IRS Commissioner Koskinen in Cross-Hairs

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IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (AP)

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Friday, 23 Sep 2016 10:14 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Two days after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House Judiciary Committee, House conservatives were more determined than ever to impeach him for targeting conservative organizations.

“Now more than ever, the IRS Commissioner should lose his job,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., one of the sponsors of an up-or-down impeachment vote, told me.

He added new information has been brought to light: “We did learn something: Obama’s IRS continues to target and harass conservatives, and Koskinen refuses to stop it."

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., a member of the conservative House Republican Freedom Caucus told me, “But at this point, I think concerns persist for many conservatives in the House on Mr. Koskinen."

Two-term Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was even blunter in assessing the political fallout from Koskinen’s testimony on alleged IRS abuses and targeting of conservative organizations. “If Congress has any interest in defending its interests and in reclaiming its position in our constitutional system then it should impeach this wayward bureaucrat forthwith.” said DeSantis.

Commissioner Koskinen, he explained, “had no choice but to admit that he testified falsely before Congress, that the IRS breached its duty to comply with a congressional subpoena when it destroyed up to 24,000 of [former head of the IRS’ Exempt Organization Unit] Lois Lerner's emails, and that the IRS failed to exercise due diligence in responding to the subpoena.”

Privately, however, some feel impeachment is unwarranted. One senior GOP lawmaker told me House leaders were hoping this “impeachment would go away because [Koskinen opponents in the House] have never made the case for impeaching him.”

Younger, more conservative lawmakers are committed to making Koskinen the first official in the executive branch of government to be impeached since 1876.

Yet others feel some action against the IRS and its commissioner is warranted.

“Such conduct is an abuse of office that was condoned by the administration and warrants stiff penalties,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, past chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “The Internal Revenue Service targeted organizations solely on the basis of their conservative views. We expect this kind of behavior from dictatorships and totalitarian governments, not from the United States of America government. It represents a direct attack on freedom of speech and thus an attack on our Constitution and our democracy.”

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

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Two days after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House Judiciary Committee, House conservatives were more determined than ever to impeach him for targeting conservative organizations.
koskinen, irs, lois lerner, impeach
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2016-14-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 10:14 AM
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