The Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America is one of the nation’s premier agencies, thought to be uncorrupted by partisan politics and the need to obstruct justice to cover-up its own apparent Unfortunately as we have seen in the past, some American presidents (Nixon, Clinton, and Obama) have brought dishonor to the agency by either nominating hyperpartisan leadership or subtly conveying their wishes to the agency. Beyond presidents, we have also seen partisan Members of Congress attempt the same political nonsense.
It is the job of the Director of the IRS not only to resist such politically-based entreaties, ferretting out political corruption wherever and whenever it is found, but to testify honestly and directly to Congressional Oversight Committees.
It appears that either IRS Director John Koskinen was inadequately briefed by his staff in agency matters or was woefully incompetent in managing the agencies affairs – or, deliberately, willfully, and with full knowledge a forethought, obstructed the administration of justice by lying under oath to Congress.
In a letter to President Obama, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee outlined the findings, thus far, of its investigation into the IRS targeting scandal. The letter explains and provides evidence of the violations on the part of the IRS and Commissioner Koskinen in properly complying with both a congressional subpoena and its own internal preservation order.
Chairman Jason Chaffetz issued the following statement …
“Mr. Koskinen should no longer be the IRS Commissioner. We have asked the President to remove Mr. Koskinen from office.
Mr. Koskinen failed in his duty to preserve and produce documentation to this Committee. The IRS failed to comply with a congressional subpoena. The IRS further failed by making false statements to Congress. We will pursue all constitutional remedies at our disposal, including potential contempt proceedings or perhaps impeachment of Commissioner Koskinen.
Under Mr. Koskinen’s leadership, the IRS failed to properly preserve agency records despite a subpoena and an internal preservation order. Shortly after being sworn into office, Mr. Koskinen was issued a subpoena. This created a legal obligation to preserve materials relevant to the Congressional investigation. However, just one month later, with an awareness that a gap existed in Lois Lerner’s email production, the IRS destroyed back-up tapes. These tapes may have contained the missing emails from the time frame in which she admitted the agency was targeting conservative 501(c)(4) groups.
Not only did this destruction of 24,000 potential emails occur after the materials were under subpoena, but also after the agency’s own Chief Technology Officer (CTO) issued a preservation notice ordering employees not to destroy anything. The CTO later stated he was ‘blown away’ that back-up tapes were destroyed ten months after his preservation notice.
Further, The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) June 30, 2015 investigative report confirmed the IRS destroyed documents and misled Congress about the agency’s efforts in complying with congressional subpoenas.
Mr. Koskinen misled Congress and the American people when he appeared before the Oversight Committee in 2014 and asserted he would produce all of Ms. Lerner’s emails. At the time of his testimony, the agency was already aware that gaps existed in Ms. Lerner’s email production due to a hard drive crash. Mr. Koskinen did not make Congress aware of this problem nor did he take sufficient efforts to recover the missing emails. TIGTA’s report confirmed that the IRS failed to even look for the back-up tapes and neglected to look at five of the six sources where emails could have existed.
At best, Commissioner Koskinen was derelict in his duties to preserve agency records. At worst, he and the IRS engaged in an orchestrated plan to hide information from Congress.
Given Commissioner Koskinen’s obfuscation and misleading statements to Congress, and the false claims that key evidence was permanently destroyed, the result has been an unnecessarily protracted investigation. More importantly though, the American people will never know all the facts surrounding the agency’s targeting of conservative tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups. This is an unacceptable outcome and one that demands those responsible be held accountable.” <Source>
Bottom line …
John Koskinen was a well-credentialed and experienced executive. A man with a law degree from Yale Law School. His experience with turnarounds and managing large enterprises (Freddie Mac) speak to his executive abilities. And, somehow Koskinen finds himself embroiled in a political firestorm over the IRS targeting of conservative organization which may have materially impacted a presidential election cycle.
It is unbelievably sad that here is a man whose past career will be forgotten and he will forever be remembered for scandal and lying to Congress.
Political corruption is one of the existential threats to America. If decent men can be corrupted by power, prestige, and public recognition in the media to the point they fail to resist improper demands or resign their positions publicly, we are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius