IRS Chief Faces Possible Impeachment
Continuing the recent scrutiny into the IRS and the IRS’s secretive and questionable practices, IRS Chief Commissioner John Koskinen is now facing a possible impeachment—again. The House Judiciary Committee announced that it would schedule two hearings to determine whether the Koskinen should be impeached for failing to produce emails and lying to Congress over the agency’s alleged targeting and slow-walking of certain conservative or right-wing groups seeking tax exempt status. To recap, in United States of America v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots, et al., conservative groups alleged that the IRS would scrutinize applications for tax-exempt status with the words “patriot” or “tea party” in the application and would either outright deny or substantially delay those applications, sometimes more than three years. Now, these hearings before the House will allow the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to present its investigatory findings into Commissioner Koskinen, the first of which is scheduled for later this month. The second hearing, scheduled for June, will allow outside experts to comment on whether Congress should initiate impeachment proceedings. At issue in these hearings are Koskinen’s apparent failure to comply with a House subpoena, complacency while possible evidence of political bias by IRS employees was destroyed, and failure to notify congress of the destruction of the evidence.
Indeed, these hearings are not the first time the possible impeachment of Koskinen has been discussed. In October, House Republicans similarly moved to impeach Koskinen for the same destruction of evidence charge and failure to notify Congress. However, that motion was stopped by House Democrats, which did not share the Republicans’ views at the time. Yet, evidenced by the scheduled hearings, the winds for Koskinen may be changing. The IRS has long been used to acting without any repercussions and little to no oversight; now it could be time to face the music.
–By Tony Nasser, Esq., Barnes Law
Tony Nasser is an attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law in California.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.