House Republicans announced Friday they will begin impeachment hearings for embattled Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen over his handling of the Lois Lerner scandal.
The House Committee on the Judiciary will hold two hearings, starting May 24, to determine whether Koskinen misled Congress and violated a subpoena related to the IRS targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. Republican critics have called for Koskinen’s impeachment since October, claiming he kept documents from Congress and allowed backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails to be destroyed. Lerner, former director of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division, retired in 2013. (RELATED: IRS Ethics Chief Once Ordered Records To Be Illegally Destroyed)
“The fact that officials at the IRS wielded their power to target certain Americans for their political views is both outrageous and contrary to our nation’s values,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Friday. “Our government is supposed to work for all Americans, not for a particular partisan agenda.”
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, perhaps the most vocal advocate behind Koskinen’s proposed impeachment, applauded Goodlatte for scheduling the hearings.
“Commissioner Koskinen failed to fulfill his duty to the American people by allowing back-up tapes containing potentially 24,000 emails to be destroyed,” Jordan said in a statement. “He failed to inform Congress about the destruction of these back-up tapes in a timely manner. He gave false testimony before Congress regarding the back-up tapes, and then refused to correct the record when given the opportunity.”
A majority of the House must vote for the charges. If that happens, the Senate tries the case like a court would, and two-thirds of the Senate must vote to approve impeachment.
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