House Oversight Republicans Call For Removal Of IRS Commissioner, Threaten Impeachment

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and 20 members of his committee want President Obama to remove Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen from his post.

In a letter to President Obama, Chaffetz and the 20 other Republicans make the case for why Koskinen should be removed — namely for his obstruction and dishonesty in the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

“As leader of the IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen has repeatedly failed to take responsibility for the destruction of evidence by the agency an the numerous misstatements he made to Congress abut this matter. Because of his actions, and the actions of others at the agency he leads the American people may never know the truth about the IRS’ targeting for conservative-tax-exempt applications,” the lawmakers wrote Monday in the nearly 30-page letter highlighting the Committee’s findings against Koskinen and the IRS to comply with their probe.

“For these reasons, we request you immediately remove Commissioner Koskinen as head of the IRS,” they add.

According to Chaffetz, the lawmakers are willing to use all the tools at their disposal to see Koskinen removed, including impeachment.

“Mr. Koskinen failed in his duty to preserve and produce documentation to this Committee. The IRS failed to comply with a congressional subpoena. The IRS further failed by making false statements to Congress. We will pursue all constitutional remedies at our disposal, including potential contempt proceedings or perhaps impeachment of Commissioner Koskinen,” Chaffetz said in a statement Monday.

In an op-ed published at the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, two members of the Oversight Committee and co-signers of the letter — Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) — elaborated on their belief that Koskinen should go, writing that he “has failed the American people by frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth.”

“John Koskinen has violated the public trust, breached his fiduciary obligations and demonstrated his unfitness to serve. Mr. President, it’s time for Commissioner Koskinen to go. If you don’t act, we will,” the two lawmakers wrote, noting Congress should impeach Koskinen if Obama does not take steps to remove him.

In a statement to Fox News the IRS denied any wrongdoing on Koskinen’s part and argued that he and the agency have been cooperating with the investigation.

“The record is clear that the IRS and Commissioner Koskinen have been cooperative and truthful with the numerous investigations underway,” the IRS said. ”The agency has produced more than one million pages of documents in support of the investigations, provided 52 current and former employees for interviews and participated in more than 30 Congressional hearings on these issues.”