Dan Gilmore / July 29, 2015

House to Obama: Please Fire IRS Head

Twenty members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee signed a letter to Barack Obama asking him to remove John Koskinen as head of the Internal Revenue Service. After spending months investigating the Tea Party scandal where the IRS targeted conservative groups, the Republicans on the committee believe Koskinen, who took over the IRS after the scandal broke, helped obstruct the scandal from Congress. “Throughout his tenure, Commissioner Koskinen obstructed these Congressional investigations,” the letter said. “His obstruction takes the form of failure to comply with a congressional subpoena, failure to testify truthfully, and failure to preserve and produce up to 24,000 emails relevant to the investigation. We ask that you exercise your authority under 26 U.S.C. Section 7803(a)(1)(D) to remove John Koskinen as Commissioner of the IRS.”

According to a statement accompanying the release of the letter, Chairman of the committee Jason Chaffetz said he’s willing to take this fight to the mat, bringing contempt proceedings or even impeachment against Koskinen. But despite Obama’s 2013 comments promising to work with Congress on the issue, Democrat lawmakers are trying to deflect this request as a partisan squabble. Ranking member of the Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings said, “Calls for Commissioner Koskinen to step down are nothing more than a manufactured Republican political crisis based on allegations that have already been debunked.” Is this the beginning of the end of the Tea Party targeting scandal? Will a scandal that should concern anyone worried about the abuse of power be reduced to a political game played out in Congress?

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