Congress Should Censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, 11:59 AM PERMALINK

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will tomorrow consider H. Res. 737, a resolution condemning and censuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, introduced by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). ATR urges all members of the Committee to vote yes on this resolution and urges all members of Congress to support and co-sponsor H.Res. 737.

This resolution puts Congress on the record that Koskinen engaged in a pattern of conduct inconsistent with his position as a public servant. In addition, the resolution urges for his resignation or removal and requires the forfeiture of his government pension and any other federal benefits for which he is eligible.

“In the real world, people get demoted, censured or fired for incompetence,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “In Washington D.C. it takes someone like John Koskinen to go beyond incompetence to destruction of our constitutional liberties for congress to act so boldly as to censure them.”

The IRS’s coordinated effort applying improper, politically motivated scrutiny to tea party and conservative organizations, meant that just one conservative non-profit was granted tax exempt status over a three year period between 2009 and 2012. Following these revelations, Koskinen was appointed head of the agency promising reform and transparency. Koskinen has failed:

  • Throughout the investigation into the targeting scandal, Koskinen’s IRS continually failed to provide important information or perform basic due diligence.

 

  • Koskinen has made several misleading or incorrect statements while under oath testifying before Congress.

 

  • The IRS failed to search five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lois Lerner’s emails. The only source they bothered to search – her hard-drive – was destroyed after a cursory search deemed information unrecoverable. In hindsight, documentation suggests that more could have been done to recover data.

 

  • The agency’s ineptness -- or corruption -- resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidentally” destroyed despite the existence of an agency-wide preservation order.​

 

  • Koskinen then withheld from Congress both the preservation order and destruction of tapes during sworn testimony. He also failed to disclose details regarding Lois Lerner’s mysteriously destroyed hard drive during testimony.

 

The carelessness of the agency means that important information is no longer available to Congress and the American people because of the actions of the IRS, while countless misleading statements and dodges have caused investigations to drag on for years.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Morigi Photography

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