The House Judiciary Committee said Friday that it will hold two committee hearings to examine misconduct by the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen. The hearings could lead to impeachment proceedings.
At the first hearing, which will take place on Tuesday, May 24, committee members will hear from a witness panel presenting the findings of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation of Koskinen. The House Judiciary Committee will also invite Koskinen to testify.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating the extra scrutiny given to political groups applying for tax-exempt status ever since the scandal came to light in 2013. Some of the committee’s members contend that Koskinen failed to comply with a congressional subpoena to preserve evidence from Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit who was implicated in the scandal. They also accuse Koskinen of making false statements during his sworn congressional testimony, and failing to notify Congress that some of Lerner’s emails were missing. More recently, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has complained about the IRS’s plans to hire up to 700 additional enforcement employees despite budget cuts (see IRS Finds Money to Hire Hundreds More Enforcement Employees). Last October, Chaffetz and 18 other members of his committee introduced a resolution to impeach Koskinen (see GOP Lawmakers Introduce Resolution to Impeach IRS Commissioner).
At the second hearing, which will take place in June, members of the House Judiciary Committee will invite outside experts to comment on the findings presented in the first hearing and whether further congressional action is warranted.
“The fact that officials at the IRS wielded their power to target certain Americans for their political views is both outrageous and contrary to our nation’s values,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., in a statement. “Our government is supposed to work for all Americans, not for a particular partisan agenda. As a result of the IRS’ targeting, conservative groups were singled out across the nation, resulting in lengthy paperwork requirements, overly burdensome information requests, and lengthy, unwarranted delays in their applications. Despite repeated congressional efforts to get to the bottom of this matter, Obama Administration officials, including the IRS Commissioner, have consistently undermined the investigation. Over the coming weeks, the House Judiciary Committee will closely examine Commissioner Koskinen’s misconduct and the implications of his actions.”
The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access