TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 910

IRS Logo 2Forbes:  Impeaching The IRS Commissioner Is The Wrong Thing To Do, by David Brunori (Tax Analysts):

The House Republican attempt to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is one of the most unseemly developments of the Lois Lerner affair. Unseemly is probably not a strong enough word to describe the partisan effort to remove a sitting commissioner. It is just wrong.

I say that without any particular bias in favor of the commissioner. Indeed, I think the Department of Justice went too easy on Lerner and the IRS. Nor do I carry any water for the administration. I disagree far more often than I agree with President Obama on tax policy. Yet, I believe impeachment should be reserved for “big things.” It should not be used as a weapon in the political arena or in policy debates. ...

House GOP members say they are frustrated with Koskinen. Since when did frustrating someone equate to a high crime or misdemeanor? Those calling for impeachment say that Koskinen failed to comply with a congressional subpoena ordering him to locate and preserve IRS records related to congressional investigations of the IRS’s handling of conservative groups’ exemption applications; lied in his testimony before Congress regarding the e-mails of Lois Lerner, the former IRS exempt organizations director at the center of the investigations; failed to act with competence and forthrightness in overseeing the investigation of the IRS’s handling of exemption applications; and acted in a manner inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as an officer of the United States. ...

Koskinen may be guilty of being combative with Congress. He may be guilty of caginess during his testimony. He may be guilty of being a lousy commissioner. But none of those are reasons for impeachment.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/11/the-irs-scandal-day-910.html

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Comments

If not impeachment, what is the way to deal with a Commissioner like that? Cutting the IRS budget has been tried, and is a lousy way because it hurts the effectiveness of the agency.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Nov 5, 2015 6:02:45 AM

Still find it shocking that the MSM is completely uninterested in this story. Nixon only tried to politicize the IRS and it was a charge on his bill of impeachment. This time it actually was done...and the MSM refuses to report the developments in this huge scandal. It's almost as though Woodward and Bernstein are artifacts from a previous civilization.

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Nov 5, 2015 8:07:18 AM

Obstruction of justice. It's not just an annoyance. This is just the tip of the iceberg of this Administration's opacity and corruption. You have to start somewhere, and they should have impeached Holder over Fast and Furious, let alone this lawless Stalinist behavior. Criminalizing political opponents is the sure sign of a third-world thugocracy. It must be ripped out by the roots. And they should start with this clown. Do you job, Congress! Don't just keep rolling over for this President and his gang of cronies.

Posted by: Spamf Roming | Nov 5, 2015 8:40:02 AM

"Yet, I believe impeachment should be reserved for “big things.” It should not be used as a weapon in the political arena or in policy debates. ..."

It is the IRS and DOJ, under the direction of Obama that has politicized the IRS and used it as a weapon against political opponents. What choice does Congress have? Impeach....

Posted by: Roux | Nov 5, 2015 9:42:43 AM