Conservatives in the House of Representatives are about to force a key vote.
They are itching to hold the Obama administration accountable.
And there could be an impeachment vote on the House floor in the next few weeks.
Conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus are pushing leadership to hold a vote on a privileged resolution impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Ryan worked out a deal with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, who has been the point person lobbying for a House vote, to hold a special meeting next Thursday with all House Republicans to discuss the issue.
But some Freedom Caucus members vow that regardless of that discussion, they will force a vote on the matter this month before Congress wraps up business before the November election.
“I fully expect a vote to happen in September,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, said Wednesday.
Koskinen argues that he wasn’t at the IRS when the agency singled out Tea Party groups for political harassment and intimidation.
Lois Lerner was the bureaucrat who directed the Obama scheme to silence political opposition.
Conservatives argue that doesn’t absolve Koskinen of his misdeeds.
Some conservatives think Koskinen secretly ordered lower-level IRS employees to destroy key IRS documents surrounding how they treated Republican-leaning groups— an accusation Koskinen spent part of the day refuting. Those leveling the charge have offered no proof to back it.
House Freedom Caucus member Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), who is raising money off the issue, upped the ante in a recent campaign ad, saying Koskinen directly “ordered” the erasure of 24,000 emails. Other impeachment supporters have generally stopped short of directly implicating Koskinen, focusing instead on his culpability as the head of the agency and his inaccurate testimony to Congress.
“What I’m trying to do as chair is put our membership in a position to understand the background of what happened at the IRS under his tenure as commissioner … and they can make their minds up on the motion with respect to impeachment,” Flores said.
Republicans also cite Koskinen lying to Congress as further evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.
In 2014, Koskinen testified to Congress that over 20,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails could not be recovered.
The Treasury Department’s Inspector General informed Congress that they had recovered a portion of the emails.
But Republican leadership is fighting the efforts of conservatives to hold Koskinen accountable for his misdeeds.
Instead of fighting the Obama administration, Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell are eager to pass a government funding bill supporting the entire Obama agenda.
Leadership is eager to avoid the fight, which it sees as a distraction in the few legislative days Congress has before Election Day to pass a stopgap spending bill and a Zika relief package.
But by using parliamentary rules, conservatives still have the opportunity to impeach Koskinen.
Do you agree that House Republicans should hold the Obama administration accountable for the IRS targeting Tea Party groups for harassment by impeaching IRS Commissioner Koskinen?
Let us know what you think in the comment section.