Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1308:  House Votes To Send Koskinen Impeachment Back To Judiciary Committee

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal: House Turns Aside Vote on IRS Chief Impeachment: Vote Demonstrates Lack of Appetite Among Republicans For Pursuing Case Against John Koskinen, by Richard Rubin:

The House of Representatives turned aside an attempt by conservative hard-liners to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for his handling of congressional investigations into the tax agency.

Instead, in a 342-72 vote, the House sent the issue back to the Judiciary Committee, which hasn’t held a formal impeachment hearing or voted on the matter.

The vote demonstrated the lack of appetite among rank-and-file House Republicans for pursuing Mr. Koskinen’s impeachment, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) said the move would ensure Mr. Koskinen gets due process.

A senior Republican aide said officials from the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump told members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative members who helped push the vote, that they wanted to avoid a showdown over to IRS commissioner because of the potential impact on the legislative process.

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Due process will have to wait until new DOJ leadership takes over, clearly. Impeachment efforts were a waste of time, but I suspect Mr. Koskinen's head will be on the block come January, along with some other less than sterling career bureaucrats. And rightly so...

Posted by: MM | Dec 7, 2016 8:21:50 PM

You keep believing that…if it makes you feel better. But I highly doubt statesmenship had anything to do with it. It’s far more likely that, given the electoral results, the leadership didn’t see the point of spending political capital conducting impeachment. When the new session starts there will be a slew of other priorities (confirmations, Obamacare repeal, and other legislative actions such as taxes, immigration, etc).

I don’t necessarily agree with it, given the actions of Koskinen and the IRS, but it’s understandable since Koskinen and the Treasury Secretary will be replaced soon enough.

As far as “errors” I’ll just repeat what I’ve said before – if a private entity had made the same type of “errors” they would be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. I don’t know why the government gets a “get out of jail free” card for claiming monumental incompetence.

Posted by: sigh | Dec 7, 2016 6:40:37 PM

“The vote demonstrated the lack of appetite among rank-and-file House Republicans for pursuing Mr. Koskinen’s impeachment . . . .” Lack of appetite is one possible interpretation. It might also indicate that the more statesmanlike House members–Democrats and Republicans alike–do not view Commissioner Koskinen’s errors as “high crimes and misdemeanors”; it might also suggest that the more statesmanlike House members have not entirely abandoned notions of fairness and due process. Maybe a little of both. One can hope.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 7, 2016 6:13:40 AM