House GOP Introduces Measure to Impeach IRS Head Koskinen

 
Koskinen

“Koskinen” is Finnish for “smirking leprechaun.”

Late last week, the “Justice” Department decided that Lois Lerner and the IRS did nothing illegal by targeting Obama’s political opponents with special scrutiny and delays. Today, the House GOP responded as 19 members introduces a measure to impeach current IRS head John Koskinen.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz began the impeachment process against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Tuesday, accusing him of misleading the public and destroying documents that were being sought under a congressional subpoena.

…Among the specific charges Mr. Chaffetz and 18 of his fellow Republicans on the committee allege are that Mr. Koskinen misled Congress when he said he’d turned over all of former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner’s emails, and oversaw destruction of evidence when his agency destroyed backup tapes that contained the emails.

It was unclear how far the resolution would go, in a Congress already preoccupied with so many other fights and with little more than a year to go in President Obama’s tenure.

The impeachment resolution says the IRS knew Ms. Lerner’s messages were missing, due to a reported computer hard drive crash, as early as February 2014, but didn’t notify Congress until June — while the backup tapes were destroyed in March.

Earlier Tuesday, Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee that he is cleaning up the IRS to avoid any of that completely legal harassment of Tea Party groups:

“The chain of command all the way down has changed. There are new people that have gone through, and we’ve pursued appropriate disciplinary review as needed,” Mr. Koskinen said.

He also acknowledged his agency is still holding up a “handful” of tea party groups’ applications — including one that’s been waiting for nearly six years, The Washington Times reported earlier this week.

Six. Years.

Lerner and Koskinen have learned that they won’t face repercussions for using the federal government as a weapon to harm President Obama’s political opponents. It is long past time that the House GOP took matters into their own hands, just as the Constitution allows.

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  1. Eric Hines Member
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    It’s a necessary thing to do, especially since Mr Wonderful, Comey, has chosen to white house wash the IRS.  Unfortunately, there’ll be no conviction in the Senate: there aren’t enough Democrat Senators who value our country over their personal political power.

    Eric Hines

    • #1
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    What do you have to do to get a “Dis” in front of that “Hon” on your nameplate?

    • #2
  3. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    If the Republicans win the White House we need to go on a war path to fire every last IRS employ that was involved in this and to strip Lerner of any government pension, or benefits. Our vengeance should be swift and without mercy.

    • #3
  4. Nick Stuart Member
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Eric Hines:It’s a necessary thing to do, especially since Mr Wonderful, Comey, has chosen to white house wash the IRS. Unfortunately, there’ll be no conviction in the Senate: there aren’t enough Democrat Senators who value our country over their personal political power.

    Eric Hines

    Prediction:  Never get that far. The House GOP will do a slow circle shirk of committee hearings, findings, motions, etc. Nobody involved in IRS corrupt practices will ever be held accountable in any meaningful way.

    The corruption of federal institutions would be a powerful campaign issue for any Republican with the brains and fortitude to pick it up.

    • #4
  5. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Nick Stuart: The corruption of federal institutions would be a powerful campaign issue for any Republican with the brains and fortitude to pick it up.

    Naah.  They’d just get beaten back by the “we don’t dare anger the corrupt people” GOP.

    • #5
  6. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    They could also impeach Lois Learner. Conviction could deprive her of her ill-gotten pension.

    Seawriter

    • #6
  7. BrentB67 Member
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    About time. I volunteer to build the gallows.

    • #7
  8. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    I hope this isn’t some pathetic sop, some boobie prize for accepting the deal Boehner & McConnell are cooking up. Break the spending caps, 1.5 trillion in more debt over an impeachment, while totally warranted, will go nowhere.

    • #8
  9. SpiritO'78 Member
    SpiritO'78
    @SpiritO78

    They couldn’t get, or wouldn’t get, Lois Lerner so they’ll take their pound of flesh from Koskinen.

    • #9
  10. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    I’m sure Obama will support the impeachment process since he was so angry about the “inexcusable” IRS targeting of conservative groups.

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: It is long past time that the House GOP took matters into their own hands, just as the Constitution allows.

    Amen to that.

    • #10
  11. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    SpiritO’78

    They couldn’t get, or wouldn’t get, Lois Lerner so they’ll take their pound of flesh from Koskinen.

    Well, no.  But they’ll play at it for a while.

    • #11
  12. Palaeologus Member
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Earlier Tuesday, Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee that:

    “Cruel men hurts us. Master tricksed us.”

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Jon,

    gollum

    Impeachment? Yeeesssss!!!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
  14. Leigh Member
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Valiuth: If the Republicans win the White House we need to go on a war path to fire every last IRS employ that was involved in this and to strip Lerner of any government pension, or benefits.

    To go a step further, is there anything that can be built into the law to protect against such abuses in future? Maybe not, but maybe it should be considered.

    • #14
  15. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Leigh:

    Valiuth: If the Republicans win the White House we need to go on a war path to fire every last IRS employ that was involved in this and to strip Lerner of any government pension, or benefits.

    To go a step further, is there anything that can be built into the law to protect against such abuses in future? Maybe not, but maybe it should be considered.

    I’m not sure what it would be the IRS is already officially supposed to be non-partisan. There is a certain degree of discretion that needs to be given in the enforcement of any tax policy that requires so much parsing of intention. So perhaps the best way have simpler tax codes, that don’t require adjudication of statuses. None of the organizations that were effected were denied (If I recall correctly), the IRS just dragged their feet in certifying them. Maybe we should switch the burden of proof to the IRS. They have to prove someone isn’t a nonprofit rather than you having to prove to them you are, and until they prove it they can’t fine you.

    • #15
  16. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Valiuth:

    Leigh:

    Valiuth: If the Republicans win the White House we need to go on a war path to fire every last IRS employ that was involved in this and to strip Lerner of any government pension, or benefits.

    To go a step further, is there anything that can be built into the law to protect against such abuses in future? Maybe not, but maybe it should be considered.

    I’m not sure what it would be the IRS is already officially supposed to be non-partisan. There is a certain degree of discretion that needs to be given in the enforcement of any tax policy that requires so much parsing of intention. So perhaps the best way have simpler tax codes, that don’t require adjudication of statuses. None of the organizations that were effected were denied (If I recall correctly), the IRS just dragged their feet in certifying them. Maybe we should switch the burden of proof to the IRS. They have to prove someone isn’t a nonprofit rather than you having to prove to them you are, and until they prove it they can’t fine you.

    Not just for nonprofits. The IRS has way too much power to seize or freeze assets without due process of law. The IRS should need judicial warrants to seize or freeze a person’s assets.

    • #16
  17. Leigh Member
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Valiuth: None of the organizations that were effected were denied (If I recall correctly), the IRS just dragged their feet in certifying them. Maybe we should switch the burden of proof to the IRS. They have to prove someone isn’t a nonprofit rather than you having to prove to them you are, and until they prove it they can’t fine you.

    And/or put it in a timeframe — deny by a certain date or approval is automatic?

    And maybe take a good look at every other possible way that the power of the IRS could be abused? I’m going to guess that they considered things far beyond what they actually did — partly based on what we know was going on in Wisconsin, and the fact that there was at least some slight connection between the two.

    • #17
  18. David Deeble Member
    David Deeble
    @DavidDeeble

    Is it just me or is Koskinen’s mug the face of government? Benign, incompetent and self-serving.

    • #18
  19. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Here’s a better idea, LEARN HOW TO USE THE POWER OF THE PURSE.

    • #19
  20. MLH Member
    MLH
    @MLH

    David Deeble:Is it just me or is Koskinen’s mug the face of government? Benign, incompetent and self-serving.

    He looks like a weasel to me.

    tree_weasel_by_jaffa_tamarin-d4quzsf

    err umm, mebbe not. sorry, weasels!

    • #20
  21. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    David Deeble:Is it just me or is Koskinen’s mug the face of government? Benign, incompetent and self-serving.

    Benign I don’t see.  That is one malignant hatchet man.  Right away I got the feeling that he was hand-picked to tell committees to get screwed and make it stick.

    • #21
  22. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Leigh: And maybe take a good look at every other possible way that the power of the IRS could be abused?

    The whole point of a system of checks and balances is that nobody will ever complete such a list.  Instead, the GOP is supposed to clean house with a baseball bat.  These wimps won’t do it, and that’s why the commies get what they want and the rest of us can suck it.

    • #22
  23. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    That puss makes one understand the guillotine.

    • #23
  24. Leigh Member
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Ball Diamond Ball: The whole point of a system of checks and balances is that nobody will ever complete such a list. Instead, the GOP is supposed to clean house with a baseball bat.

    The GOP is doing precisely what they are supposed to do when a government official abuses his power in this way: impeachment. The Democrats won’t go along, of course, so ultimately he’ll get away with it.

    But that wouldn’t undo the damage. It needs to be harder to do. If there were loopholes or badly written laws or anything that makes this kind of abuse easier — find it.

    Remember that John Doe investigation? The WI legislature came this session ready to act. They’ve been investigating and holding hearings and learning things, and they’re getting to root issues, bad laws, and a corrupted agency.

    They can’t stop Milwaukee electing partisan DAs, but they can stop the bad laws that gave him opportunity and end his alliance with the partisan Government Accountability Board (the oversight agency that supervised elections). They’ve changed the John Doe law so it can’t be abused in that way — no more gag orders. That one’s done and signed into law. They want to get rid of the GAB and to change the fuzzy and largely unconstitutional campaign finance laws — those are in the Senate.

    That’s what “taking a baseball bat to it” looks like. The Democrats certainly think so.

    • #24
  25. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Leigh:

    Ball Diamond Ball: The whole point of a system of checks and balances is that nobody will ever complete such a list. Instead, the GOP is supposed to clean house with a baseball bat.

    The GOP is doing precisely what they are supposed to do when a government official abuses his power in this way: impeachment. The Democrats won’t go along, of course, so ultimately he’ll get away with it.

    But that wouldn’t undo the damage. It needs to be harder to do. If there were loopholes or badly written laws or anything that makes this kind of abuse easier — find it.

    That’s what “taking a baseball bat to it” looks like. The Democrats certainly think so.

    Right.  My point is not that this is bad, but that it’s long overdue and underused.  Impeachment has not been a credible threat throughout this administration, which is one factor enabling its abuses.

    An impeachment now however doomed can still have the effect of increasing the political cost of lawlessness, but ONLY if these guys stick with it.  Otherwise, it’s like abandoning antibiotics prescriptions.  All that does is help the bugs evolve to tolerate the antibiotic.

    • #25
  26. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Someday in the future there will be a revolt, many government officials and workers will be killed. It will because of BS like this. I just hope I live long enough to see it.

    • #26
  27. Funeral Guy Member
    Funeral Guy
    @FuneralGuy

    How long do you figure it will be for the first Democrat to start whining about all the money being wasted on this impeachment? Democrats will fund studies to find out why Lesbians are so fat, but getting to the bottom of the corruption in the most feared agency of the United States Government? Come on, Guys, that’s soooooo expensive.

    • #27
  28. Marion Evans Member
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans
    • #28
  29. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Where is the impeachment of the Attorney General over the failure to prosecute anyone over the IRS Targeting?   Impeachment of Obama?

    Why just go for the flunkies?

    • #29
  30. Skarv Member
    Skarv
    @Skarv

    So will this increase or decrease our chances to defeat Hillary and hold the senate and house in 2016?

    I am skeptical that it is good tactics. Recent congressional hearings have been failures for Republicans. BDB points out the importance of good execution and I agree but we have seen little of that in the past. Somehow, we always come across as “partisan” and unfair while D plays the victim. The flawed process with lots of 5 minute prosecutors and C-span coverage is a problem and I do not see any promise that this will be run in a better way.

    I think it would be better to try to focus debate on what we want to do while still include criticism of D for the IRS and all the other O scandals. Voters who are winnable will be more convinced by keeping the scandals in the campaign messages (as a part, not the main part which has to be positive) rather than helping D to stage another theatre where they can play victims with the aid of media.

    Unless we have a very strong case for how we can play this differently and why it is a winning strategy – not based on the merits of the case – I think this is the wrong tactical move.

    • #30

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