Chaffetz Introduces Censure Resolution for IRS Commissioner

Published: May 18, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, in advance of the House Judiciary Committee’s May 24, 2016 hearing to examine misconduct by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 737) to censure Commissioner Koskinen.  The resolution offers Congressional condemnation and disapproval of Mr. Koskinen for a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as an Officer of the United States. 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.

“The resolution seeks Commissioner Koskinen’s resignation or removal, and requires the forfeiture of his pension. Censure affords Congress additional consequences to consider in identifying appropriate penalties for the Commissioner’s misdeeds. Mr. Koskinen must be held accountable for his misconduct. I am committed to using every tool at my disposal to hold Mr. Koskinen responsible for his offenses toward Congress and toward the American people. I view censure as a precursor to impeachment as it allows the House the opportunity to formally condemn Mr. Koskinen,” said Chairman Chaffetz.   

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.

 Background:

In July 2015, Chairman Chaffetz, along with 51 members of Congress, sent a letter to President Obama calling for the removal of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The White House did not respond.  On October 27, 2015 Chairman Chaffetz 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. The Committee released a video outlining the timeline of key events in the IRS targeting scandal.

Related Documents

Name Document
H. Res. 737 Document