DesJarlais Statement on Voting For Censuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
House Oversight Committee to Vote on Censuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
Washington, DC – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 14 to vote on H. Res. 737 a resolution to censure Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen. The resolution offers Congressional condemnation and disapproval of Mr. Koskinen for his conduct regarding how his office handled investigations of the 2013 IRS targeting scandal of non-profit conservative groups. The resolution formally censures Mr. Koskinen and urges his resignation or removal. The resolution also requires Mr. Koskinen to forfeit all rights to his government pension and any other federal benefits for which he is eligible.
“Commissioner Koskinen’s conduct falls well short of what is expected and required as an officer of the United States. As such, he must be held accountable for his actions in misleading the American people and misleading the United States Congress,” said Congressman DesJarlais. “Commissioner Koskinen has not only repeatedly provided false and misleading information to the committee, but allowed the destruction of as many as 24,000 potentially incriminating emails. Obstructing a congressional investigation is a very serious matter and must be met with equally serious repercussions. Congressional censure will certainly help to ensure Commissioner Koskinen is held responsible for his offenses. However, it is my firm belief that we should continue to push for the full impeachment of the IRS commissioner.”
Specifically, Commissioner Koskinen warrants Congressional disapproval for the following reasons:
- Failure to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence.
- Failed to locate and preserve IRS records in accordance with a congressional subpoena and an internal preservation order where 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails – key pieces of evidence – were destroyed on Koskinen’s watch.
- Failure to testify truthfully under oath and provided false and misleading information.
- Falsely testified the IRS turned over all emails relevant to the congressional investigation, including all of Ms. Lerner’s emails.
- Falsely testified emails were unrecoverable once the agency realized some of Ms. Lerner’s emails were missing.
- Failure to notify Congress key evidence was missing.
- Despite destroying Lois Lerner’s emails on March 4, 2014, the IRS did not notify Congress the emails were missing until June 2014.
In July of 2015, the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to President Obama calling for the removal of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. On October 27, 2015 Congressman DesJarlais co-introduced H.J. Res. 494 to begin proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Commissioner Koskinen. The resolution was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and currently has 69 co-sponsors.