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Dan Gilmore / October 28, 2015

House Moves to Impeach IRS Chief

But the GOP tends to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

The House Oversight Committee introduced a resolution Tuesday seeking the impeachment of IRS chief John Koskinen. But given how the rest of the Republicans’ attempts at checking the Obama administration’s waste and corruption turned out, don’t expect much from this resolution. The impeachment attempt comes after the Department of Justice declined to prosecute IRS official Lois Lerner for her hand in the targeting of conservative nonprofits before the 2012 elections. It also comes after the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Barack Obama asking him to fire his IRS commissioner in July.

All throughout Congress’ investigation into the allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups, Koskinen stonewalled and misled during hearings. Under his watch, Lerner’s hard drive was destroyed two weeks after Congress issued a preservation order. Koskinen said his agency expended time and energy looking for the documents but “no emails could be retrieved.” The IRS’ inspector general found backups 15 days after his office started looking for them. “Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust,” said Jason Chaffetz, the oversight committee’s chairman. “[Impeachment] will demonstrate to the American people that the IRS is under repair, and signal that Executive Branch officials who violate the public trust will be held accountable.”

But if you want an example of Republicans snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, look no further than the Benghazi hearing with Hillary Clinton. They had the smoking gun with evidence that Clinton told two different versions of what happened in Benghazi days after the attack, and still Clinton walked away from the 11-hour hearing better for wear.

“If the intent is, as Chaffetz says, to restore confidence in the IRS, you know how you do that?” commentator Charles Krauthammer asked. “You win the White House, you appoint a new IRS commissioner and then you get an uncompromised DOJ to go in and to prosecute Lois Lerner.”

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