Many of us were angry and stunned — though actually not totally surprised — when Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced there would be no charges against IRS official Lois Lerner for targeting Tea Party and conservative groups during both the 2010 and 2012 elections.Instrumental in the obstruction of the investigative process was IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Remember this guy?
Well, this guy isn’t off the hook yet. Today, House Republicans announced they will hold impeachment hearings to investigate “misconduct by Koskinen — specifically, whether misled Congress and violated a subpoena.
Via Washington Times:House Republicans on Friday announced hearings to investigate whether IRS Commissioner John Koskinen misled Congress and violated a subpoena, taking the first steps that could ultimately lead to his impeachment over the tax agency’s tea party targeting.
Impeachment is still very unlikely, particularly given the short amount of work days left in this Congress and in the Obama administration’s tenure overall.
But conservatives are intent on exploring Mr. Koskinen’s actions after the IRS was ordered to preserve and turn over documents related to targeting of tea party groups — and particularly emails from former senior executive Lois G. Lerner.Mr. Koskinen’s accusers say he failed to comply with a congressional subpoena on those documents, and instead he allowed backup tapes of the emails to be destroyed.
He also said his agency was unable to find the backups of some of Mrs. Lerner’s emails — but the IRS’s own internal auditor was able to discover thousands of them with little effort. The internal auditor concluded that the agency erased 422 backup tapes that should have been protected by the subpoena.The IRS did not have an immediate comment on the move to hold hearings.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has scheduled two hearings, inviting members of the House Oversight Committee, which issued the initial subpoena and which has been pursuing Mr. Koskinen for years. And Mr. Goodlatte said he will invite Mr. Koskinen himself to testify.
“Our government is supposed to work for all Americans, not for a particular partisan agenda,” Mr. Goodlatte said in a statement announcing the hearings.
Though the IRS scandal has largely faded from the headlines, it is certainly not over. In addition to impeachment hearings for Mr. Koskinen, the agency is in court in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where a panel of judges is trying to determine whether the tea party targeting is going on. It was this court who, just last month, dropped the following truth bomb:
“It’s hard to find the IRS to be an agency we can trust,” said Judge David B. Sentelle.
To those who say give it a rest already — this is old news — one might suggest they tell that to the groups still awaiting tax-exempt status after five years and those still being targeted with special monitoring.
And, hey Republicans, while you’re in the impeachment groove, you might want to take a look at that guy currently occupying the White House. Not even sure where to tell you to start…
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]