Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
Business

House Panel Hearing Lawmaker Wants IRS Chief Impeached

Congressional Republicans have long detested the IRS

IRS 1040 Tax form being filled out, photo: Flickr
1 year ago

A sympathetic House Judiciary Committee is giving a high-profile forum to a top Republican who wants to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, a cause that excites conservatives but seems unlikely to go far in Congress this election year.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz planned to testify to the GOP-run Judiciary panel on Tuesday. The Utah Republican has been pushing for Koskinen’s removal since last summer, accusing the commissioner of hindering congressional investigations of his agency.

“You can’t thumb your nose at Congress and expect there to be no consequences,” Chaffetz said in an interview last week.

In a written statement Monday, Koskinen said Chaffetz’ allegations against him are without merit. He said he wouldn’t appear Tuesday, saying he’s been busy traveling and preparing for other hearings, but said he would be willing to testify in the future.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, whose department includes the IRS, criticized Republicans. Lew said in a written statement Tuesday that the House should focus on the nation’s needs, “not the kind of political agenda that an impeachment vote here would represent.”

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's fiscal 2017 budget request for the IRS. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget request for the IRS. Photo: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

While booting Koskinen has become a favorite cause among conservatives — Chaffetz has 73 co-sponsors on his impeachment resolution — support by other Republicans has been tepid and Democrats are flatly opposed.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has yet to embrace the idea, with spokesman Brendan Buck saying Ryan has deferred to committee leaders. Many Republicans would rather not launch a campaign-season impeachment effort with virtually no chance of success, even as they try persuading voters that they are running Congress constructively.

To impeach a federal official, a majority of the House must vote for conviction. It then takes a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate to actually remove the official from office.

The Senate’s minority Democrats could easily block the effort, leaving many to believe that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., won’t even try. McConnell spokesman Donald Stewart declined to comment on the subject last week.

Congressional Republicans have long detested the IRS. Those feelings were only heightened when the agency apologized in 2013 for subjecting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status to unusually tough scrutiny, prompting GOP lawmakers to launch congressional investigations, cut the agency’s budget and trim its staffing.

Chaffetz has accused Koskinen of failing to provide congressional investigators with subpoenaed evidence, not testifying truthfully about the destruction of emails and taking three months to reveal to Congress that emails considered important to the probe were missing.

In 2014, the IRS disclosed that it had lost emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the agency division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. Chaffetz says while Koskinen was in charge, 422 IRS backup computer tapes containing up to 24,000 of Lerner’s emails were destroyed.

In his statement Monday, Koskinen said he delayed telling Congress about missing emails until his agency could assess how much data had been lost. He also said he assured Congress that all emails had been preserved — which turned out to be untrue — only because he wasn’t aware at the time that data containing the emails had been destroyed.

Last July, a report by IRS Inspector General Russell George concluded that the data were destroyed by mistake, not in any agency effort to withhold information from Congress.

The Justice Department ended a two-year investigation of the controversy last year, saying no IRS official would face criminal charges and that it had uncovered no evidence that agency officials acted out of political bias against conservative groups.

Koskinen’s term as commissioner expires in November 2017, 10 months into the next president’s term.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the House has impeached only 19 people in history — Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, one senator, one Cabinet member and 15 federal judges. Only eight people were convicted by the Senate, all of them judges.

Koskinen said in his written statement that none of his actions “come close” to the thresholds the Constitution sets for impeachment: treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. He said impeaching him would set “an unfortunate precedent” and discourage talented people from seeking government positions.

Asked last week about the apparent futility of actually removing Koskinen from office, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, another leader in the effort, said: “Our job is to do the right thing. This guy breached every duty he has.”

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Mexico

Earthquake Dims Stylish Nightlife in Mex ...

29 mins ago
Mexico

New Earthquake, Magnitude 6.1, Shakes Ji ...

51 mins ago
World

Russia: Relations with US Poor Over 'Rus ...

16 hours ago
Business

Not Home? Walmart Wants to Walk in and S ...

16 hours ago
Most Popular

Oaxaca Struck by 6.2 Quake

By The News
Mexico

7.1 Magnitude Quake Kills 139 as Buildui ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

How You're Helping This Weekend

By Federico Rojas Frias
Living

New Earthquake, Magnitude 6.1, Shakes Ji ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Earthquake Death Toll Continues to Rise

By The News
Mexico