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House GOP committee members call for impeachment of IRS chief

By
Ed Adamczyk
Several Republican members of a House committee called for the impeachment of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, shown here testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2014. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
Several Republican members of a House committee called for the impeachment of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, shown here testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2014. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) -- Members of a House committee have recommended the impeachment of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen.

Speaking on the House floor Thursday evening, some conservative Republican members of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused Koskinen, 76, of improprieties during an investigation of alleged targeting of tax returns, failing to comply with subpoenas, the destruction of documents and emails and making false statements under oath.

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The complaints centered on IRS practices and the investigations that followed after retired IRS official Lois Lerner revealed in 2013 the agency used terms including "tea party" to filter tax-exemption applications for additional analysis.

"You have an IRS commissioner who breached multiple duties that he owed to the public, and he violated the public trust," said Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.

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Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, noted Koskinen was installed as commissioner to reform the IRS after the political targeting was exposed, but "every single duty he had, he breached."

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., added, "As it has become abundantly clear, Commissioner Koskinen has failed the American people by stonewalling congressional investigations into the IRS targeting scandal."

Two House committees -- Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means – have opened investigations into alleged targeting of conservative groups.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a frequent IRS critic and former Ways and Means Committee chairman, did not join the push for Koskinen's impeachment, saying at a news conference Thursday, "I think this is an agency that has not been led well and this is an agency that needs to be cleaned up. As far as these other issues, look, what I think what we need to do is win an election, get better people in these agencies and reform the tax code so we're not harassing the average taxpayer with a tax code that they can't even understand."

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