The Louisiana GOP congressman who filed a motion to impeach IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen before Congress’s summer recess told Breitbart News Wednesday he is ready to file his motion again as a privileged motion in the next week against the wishes of the House GOP leadership.
“There is a general impression among many of us that leadership sees things like this as distractions and maybe even creating political risks,” said Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), who is a candidate for Senate in his home state.
“As a result of that, they just don’t want to get involved,” he said. “But, the people we serve, the voters, they think its our duty and I agree with them.”
Fleming said Koskinen lied to Congress and actively took steps to keep answers and evidence from congressional committees, despite his promise to do the opposite.
“Well, he did a series of things that are very contradictory,” he said.
“He was brought in to clear up the mess at the IRS, which even the IRS today admits that individual Americans–victims of the IRS–were targeted by the IRS with maybe the most dangerous tool possible, our tax system–one in which you are considered guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
“Koskinen then swore under oath that he would protect any incriminating evidence or information against Lois Lerner or anyone else,” he said. “Then, he reports back to us that for some strange unknown reason he failed to protect any of that information–as it turned out, he lied again, because there was some of that information still available, which was uncovered by the Inspector General.”
The Inspector General for the Internal Revenue Service filed a report May 14, 2014 that detailed the practice by the IRS of targeting conservative groups, especially ones with the words “Tea Party” in their name.
Many conservatives had complained to the IRS about how their paperwork was handled during the 2012 election cycle and with this IG report other investigations took place.
Of all the practices to harass and hinder the conservatives, the most common was the tactic of no action. Federal law allows groups to keep donor names private, but those contributions cannot be deducted from the donor’s income tax. Groups who want their contributors to be allowed to deduct contributions must disclose the names of their contributors. Often, groups set up parallel funds to handle each a donor’s preference. When the IRS deliberately held back decisions on applications, the organizations were frozen. Contributors could not give money with the assurance of a deduction or confidentiality and the organization had nothing to appeal, so they waited.
Another practice was for IRS officials to ask organizations for their donor list that would otherwise be confidential. Often, groups would comply without realizing that because in the interpretation of the IRS they had volunteered the list, the IRS would consider the list part of the group’s public file.
Fleming said instead of working with Congress to reform the IRS and identify the employees, who abused regular Americans of their right to participate in the public square, Koskinen protected the bad actors and the IRS’s practices any possible way he could.
The congressman said it was frustrating to deal with a public servant who was so committed to blocking Congress from the truth.
“We’re talking not just about a little bit of information, not a tidbit or a nugget–we’re not taking about a sentence,” he said. “We’re talking about 24,000 emails and 422 backup tapes–you have to try to destroy that information–that is not something that is done accidentally.”
Compounding Koskinen’s duplicity, Fleming said that the IRS Commissioner had promised to Congress that he had taken possession of the evidence.
The IRS is just one part of the administration of President Barack Obama, but the practice of executive branch officials snubbing Congress is pervasive.
“It is our constitutional duty as a check on the executive branch of government that we should go after officials who commit acts that are arguably corrupt,” he said.
“For some reason, our leadership under John Boehner and Paul Ryan seem unmotivated to do that–why I do not know,” he said.
Fleming said once he files the privileged motion, the House leadership must schedule a vote within two business days. The motion itself is not subject to amendment.
Capitol Hill sources told Breitbart News Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) has worked to thwart Capitol Hill conservatives, who for the last 10 months have been working to bring the impeachment of Koskinen to the House floor.
Another source familiar with the workings of the House GOP Conference said the IRS Commissioner was the guest of a group of left-leaning Republicans called the Tuesday Group. Koskinen also met with a key ally of Ryan’s, Rep. William H. Flores (R.-Texas), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
The Republican Study Committee was once the conservative bloc inside the GOP Conference, but it was co-opted after the 2012 election when Speaker John A. Boehner (R.-Ohio) engineered a takeover by Rep. Stephen Scalise (R.-La.). Under Scalise, the RSC was incorporated into Boehner’s feudal system and made the transition from gadfly to partner. Scalise’s reward for taming the RSC was a promotion to GOP Whip and Boehner then worked it so that Flores was the new RSC chair. In the minutes before he was elected speaker Oct. 29 to replace Boehner, Ryan sat with Flores as the two men chatted and joked together leading up the the roll call.
An attorney familiar with helping conservatives prepare for impeachment — which in the tradition of English law is not a criminal proceeding but still operates like an indictment, which is forwarded to the Senate for trial and possible conviction — said that when conservatives tried to work with the staff of the House Judiciary Committee, the staffers worked to hamstring their effort.
Chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R.-Utah) filed his own motion to impeach Koskinen two days before Ryan was elected speaker. Chaffetz continued to work for a vote on his resolution, until he finally gave up in June–instead passing a resolution to censure the IRS commissioner through his committee. That resolution did not make it past the Rules Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Peter Sessions (R.-Texas) but actually controlled by Ryan. Often called “the Speaker’s Committee,” the Rules Committee is the vehicle a speaker uses to control the work flow in the House without leaving fingerprints.