Conservative lawmaker pushes vote on impeachment of IRS chief Koskinen

conservative lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to
try and force a vote on the potential impeachment of IRS Commissioner John
Koskinen this week.

Koskinen is still under fire over the
agency’s 2013 targeting scandal that involved extra scrutiny for conservative
groups, like the Tea Party, in their applications for tax-exempt status.

Tuesday, Rep. John Fleming, R-La., a member
of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, called up a tactic called a
“privileged resolution” that seeks to require House leaders act on
the matter by Thursday.

Several Republican lawmakers have advocated
Koskinen’s removal from office as IRS director.

“For years the IRS has abused its power
to target people based on their political views. Commissioner John Koskinen not
only did nothing about it, but continued the trend of deception by deliberately
keeping Congress and the American people in the dark,” Fleming said in a
statement Tuesday.

“To date no one has been held accountable and no one
will unless we move forward with a resolution to require a vote on his

“Congress will vote in two days. …
The Department of Justice won’t do its job so it’s essential Congress step

The House, however, does have other options.

The matter can be referred to the House
Judiciary Committee if lawmakers are reluctant to hold such a drastic vote,
particularly so close to an election. The committee typically has jurisdiction
over impeachment proceedings.

Lawmakers could also decide that Fleming’s
motion does not meet the requirements for a privileged resolution, and the
effort would be dead.

Earlier this summer, the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee voted to censure Koskinen over the scandal, but has
not acted to remove him.

Koskinen was not yet IRS commissioner when
the alleged targeting occurred, but he did preside over the agency during the
federal investigation that followed.

The Justice Department ultimately
concluded there was no evidence to file charges in the case.

Experts believe the chances of Koskinen’s
removal as IRS commissioner are slim. The House, they argue, could very well
vote to impeach — but the effort would likely find greater resistance in the
Senate, where leaders have not expressed much interest in the impeachment

“They’re wasting time on a baseless
partisan witch hunt to impeach the IRS commissioner that won’t succeed,”
Democratic New York Sen.

Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. “We have real
emergencies in this country.”

“The effort to impeach Commissioner
Koskinen is completely baseless,” the U.S. Treasury Department also said

“Not only is Commissioner Koskinen a strong leader, he is a man
of the highest integrity with steadfast commitment to public service during
difficult times.”


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