Palmer co-sponsors articles of impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) joined his fellow members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today in co-sponsoring a resolution to begin proceedings to impeach Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen.
The proceedings for impeachment are a response to what Palmer describes as Koskinen giving “misleading and false testimony to Congress and failing to preserve evidence related to the troubling scandal where various conservative non-profit organizations were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for exercising their right to freedom of speech.”
Mr. Koskinen was issued a subpoena shortly after being sworn into office in December 2013, creating a legal obligation to preserve materials relevant to the Congressional investigation. However, the Committee asserts, just one month later, with an awareness that a gap existed in Lois Lerner’s email production, the IRS destroyed back-up tapes during a midnight shift, despite an order from the IRS’s own Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for employees not to destroy anything.
“Mr. Koskinen has repeatedly provided misleading testimony to Congress and has failed to comply with a Congressional subpoena. This behavior is unacceptable, particularly for someone in such a powerful position,” said Palmer.
Previous efforts from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee include a letter to President Obama, with the Committee outlining the findings of their investigation of Koskinen, including evidence that Commissioner Koskinen failed to comply with a congressional subpoena, testified untruthfully before Congress, and failed to preserve 24,000 emails relevant to the investigation. The White House did not respond to the letter.
While introducing the resolution, Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said, “Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust. He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled. Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress. This action 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.”