Commissioner will testify next Wednesday for the Judiciary Committee.
The House Freedom Caucus and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) struck a deal to hold a hearing for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, thus delaying a Thursday House vote to impeach him.
The caucus had submitted a resolution to impeach Koskinen for impeding “Congress’ effort to investigate the IRS for tough assessments of Tea Party groups that sought tax exemptions several years ago.” Caucus members Members claim Koskinen failed to provide proper email documents and lied about deleting some emails. They also claim he has shown, “little effort to recover the lost documents.”
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) introduced the bill “under a privileged motion,” allowing the bill to bypass committee. However, their idea for impeachment did not sit well with other Republicans who thought that this “vote two months before elections risked irritating voters.”
Politico reports that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) worked on the deal with Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) before he sat down with Goodlatte and then Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH). After those meetings, Goodlatte and Jordan met to broker the deal.
Instead, Koskinen will testify before the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday next week. An impeachment vote would instead take place after the presidential elections in November.
While they won’t get their impeachment vote, the caucus is pleased with the decision:
“The House Judiciary Committee will finally hold impeachment proceedings of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen next Wednesday,” the Freedom Caucus said in a statement. “This hearing will give every American the opportunity to hear John Koskinen answer under oath why he misled Congress, allowed evidence pertinent to an investigation to be destroyed, and defied Congressional subpoenas and preservation orders.”
If the impeachment vote passes a House vote and makes it to the Senate, it is sure to die there. The GOP doesn’t hold a large enough majority in the Senate and would need bipartisan support to receive the two-thirds vote it needs to pass.
The administration brought in Koskinen to “clean up” after news broke of the IRS targeting conservative groups. His relationship with Republicans soured after the destruction of “backup tapes containing emails by key official Lois Lerner” during the investigation. Roll Call reported:
Fleming said Koskinen had made a “series of false and misleading statements” to House investigators and failed to fully cooperate with their requests for emails and other information related to a probe of the IRS’ handling of applications from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Fleming, who is running for the Senate, said Koskinen’s statements and actions “warrant impeachment, trial and removal from office.”
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