Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 20, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1411: Why Did Donald Trump Fire Sally Yates And Preet Bharara, But Not John Koskinen?

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Washington Examiner, Why Is Trump Afraid of Draining the Swamp at the IRS and Firing John Koskinen?:

Political cartography in Washington can be difficult. After three months in office, it's clear President Trump doesn't believe the D.C. bog includes the federal building at the corner of 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. He won't drain the swamp at the Internal Revenue Service.

Famous for firing people, Trump has disrupted the status quo in the nation's capital with his personnel decisions. He quickly terminated Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, then sacked 46 federal prosecutors. But he won't ax IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Conservatives have been gunning for the tax chief's scalp for years. To no avail, they've tried shaming, officially censuring, and impeaching Koskinen. But now that Trump's in the White House, they're wondering why the president is sheltering the taxman. ...

The Trump White House keeps dodging the question. On Friday, press secretary Sean Spicer referred curious reporters inquiring about Koskinen's fate to the Treasury Department, even after it came to light that the agency still has 7,000 unreleased documents related to the scandal. ...

Trump has every reason to dismiss the tax agent. With Koskinen at the helm, the IRS was able to cover up its targeting scandal. Brought in by President Obama to clean up the agency's image, he turned a blind eye as the IRS covered up its scandal and continued to violate citizen's First Amendment rights.

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Why indeed?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Mar 24, 2017 6:15:34 AM

It is simply a matter of priorities. He wanted to eliminate concerns of criminial prosecution first.

Posted by: Gator | Mar 21, 2017 5:57:08 AM

To keep his tax returns from being leaked?

Posted by: MikeN | Mar 20, 2017 2:38:01 PM

One possibility is that Trump wants Obamacare repeal to go through first. The IRS has a large role in Obamacare enforcement, and once Obamacare is gone that is the time to seriously reorganize/downsize the IRS. Why get someone new up to speed on managing the current system when it is going to go through radical change in the hopefully soon to be future ?

Posted by: moray watson | Mar 20, 2017 8:11:59 AM

Perhaps he doesn't want to be accused of a conflict of interest, since he is currently engaged in an IRS audit of his personal taxes?

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Mar 20, 2017 4:20:36 AM