Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) and 18 other Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced a resolution Tuesday to start impeachment proceedings against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
“Mr. Koskinen has repeatedly provided misleading testimony to Congress and has failed to comply with a Congressional subpoena,” said Rep. Palmer. “This behavior is unacceptable, particularly for someone in such a powerful position.”
In introducing the resolution, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said, “Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust. He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled. Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress. This action will demonstrate to the American people that the IRS is under repair, and signal that Executive Branch officials who violate the public trust will be held accountable.”
According to the Committee’s press release, Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust in the following ways:
- Failed to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence. Commissioner Koskinen failed to locate and preserve IRS records in accordance with a congressional subpoena and an internal preservation order. The IRS erased 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails – key pieces of evidence that were destroyed on Koskinen’s watch.
- Failed to testify truthfully and provided false and misleading information. Commissioner Koskinen testified the IRS turned over all emails relevant to the congressional investigation, including all of Ms. Lerner’s emails. When the agency determined Ms. Lerner’s emails were missing, Commissioner Koskinen testified the emails were unrecoverable. These statements were false.
- Failed to notify Congress that key evidence was missing. The IRS knew Lois Lerner’s emails were missing in February 2014. In fact, they were not missing; the IRS destroyed the emails on March 4, 2014. The IRS did not notify Congress the emails were missing until June 2014 – four months later, and well after the White House and the Treasury Department were notified.
Before going the impeachment route, Palmer along with 51 members of Congress, called on President Barack Obama to remove Commissioner Koskinen back in July. The White House failed to respond to their request.