According to Rep. Jim Jordan (OH), Congress will impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
“It is something that has to be done,” said the Ohio Republican. “If we don’t hold some people accountable in the executive branch for the executive overreach we’ve seen in [the Obama] administration, then they’ll never get the message.”
It appears that Mr. Koskinen delayed FOIA requests and ignored court orders to turn over documents on the IRS scandal involving Lois Lerner.
Four hundred and twenty-two backup tapes of approximately 24,000 emails, including some of Ms. Lerner’s were destroyed.Given the fact Mr. Koskinen told the Congress the documentation would be preserved and that he would turn over all the documents, it appears he lied and quite possibly, perjured himself.
At a hearing in July, Judge Emmet Sullivan warned the IRS and the Justice Department that”excuses for not following His order were “indefensible, ridiculous and absurd and that “I will haul into court the IRS Commissioner to hold him personally in contempt.”
Federal officials can be impeached for:
- dereliction of duty
- failure to comply and for
- breach of trust
In Koskinen’s case this amouts to:
- failure to disclose loss of emails relevant to a congressional investigation
- non-compliance with an order to preserve evidence
- refusal to testify truthfully and according to indications given to the Congress
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch,says some of the emails
“prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment–protected lawful political speech.”
Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz, says the IRS has
“lied to Congress,” and “destroyed documents under subpoena.”
“He assured us he would comply with a congressional subpoena seeking Lois Lerner’s e-mails. Not only did he fail to keep that promise, we later learned he did not look in earnest for the information.”
During the trial in July, Mr Koskinen appears to have mis-characterized a GAO report that was critical of the IRS’s procedures for selecting exempt organizations for audits.The report indicates that IRS does track information about high net worth individuals. What may need to be investigated further is whether contributions to political committees are traced and whether or not the IRS then proceeds with audits of donors.
So Mr. Koskinen now sits in the hot seat and one can only hope that others involved in this, particularly former Commission Douglas Shulman may also find it difficult to evade responsibility. You may remember Mr. Shulman’s rather snarky response to an Oversight Committee member’s question as to why he made so many trips to the White House; his reply was “taking his kids to Easter Egg Hunts.” Sounds rather dishonest and quite willful at that. Oh, and let’s not forget IRS’s favourite phrase, “under penalty of perjury.”