House GOP Trying to Impeach IRS Chief

Move comes after Justice Department wraps up investigation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2015 7:51 AM CDT
House GOP Trying to Impeach IRS Chief
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Now that the Justice Department has decided not to file criminal charges in the IRS scandal over the scrutiny of conservative groups, House Republicans have moved to take action of their own: impeachment. A powerful House committee has advanced a measure to impeach IRS chief John Koskinen, reports the Washington Post. Koskinen took over after the scandal broke, but Republicans say he lied to Congress in the subsequent investigation. "Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust," says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel. "He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled."

At issue are 422 backup tapes that might have contained emails from the IRS figure at the center of the scandal, Lois Lerner, explains the Hill. Koskinen not only failed to preserve them, he didn't notify Congress they were missing, says Chaffetz. Democrats say it's all political theater. "Calling this resolution a ‘stunt’ or a ‘joke’ would be insulting to stunts and jokes," says Elijah Cummings. Still, the long-shot bid now moves on to the House Judiciary Committee. (More IRS stories.)

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