Utah congressman's resolution would censure IRS commissioner

IRS Commissioner: Allegations serious
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Story highlights

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced a resolution to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
  • The Utah Republican said Koskinen failed to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence

Washington (CNN)Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced a resolution Wednesday to censure -- and possibly impeach -- Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen.

The resolution, which urges that Koskinen resign or be removed, offers congressional condemnation and disapproval of the IRS head "for a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as an Officer of the United States."
    Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Koskinen failed to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence and 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 IRS official Lois Lerner's emails -- key pieces of evidence -- were destroyed on Koskinen's watch.
    "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 Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
    The Republican congressman also said Koskinen failed to testify truthfully under oath and provided false and misleading information.
    The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing May 24 to examine misconduct by Koskinen stemming from the investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups. That panel would have jurisdiction over any impeachment efforts.
    The Justice Department in October closed its two-year investigation into the case, declining to bring charges against anyone at the agency.
    CNN has reached out to the IRS for comment. When previously asked about the hearings, an IRS spokesman told CNN that Koskinen was focusing on his work.
    "Commissioner Koskinen and the IRS workforce remain focused on serving the nation's taxpayers. In addition to completing a successful filing season this spring, we continue making progress on a number of important issues involving taxpayer service, tax enforcement and cybersecurity," spokesman Matt Leas said.