Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana made a motion today in the House to call up for his move to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. House Republican leaders have not signalled any approval of the move, which could result in a vote on the embattled bureaucrat's future in September, following the annual two month vacation Congress takes in the summer.
From the podium, Fleming read the text of the resolution for impeachment, which he introduced on July13 in concert with Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). Their resolution accuses Commissioner Koskinen of "high crimes and misdemeanors," which include his alleged failure to turn over to Congress information it requested about IRS targeting of conservative organizations. Another IRS employee, Lois Lerner, as well as Koskinen, was deposed by Congress in the wake of the scandal.
Several organizations have sought Koskinen's impeachment, following the controversy that ensued when the IRS admitted that it had delayed applications made by conservative organizations for tax-exempt status. The GOP leadership, however, is not visibly interested in the impeachment resolution and is ostensibly interested in asserting a positive agenda to ensure electoral victories in the fall. However, there is apparent support in the House for the impeachment if it were to come to a vote. Should he be impeached by the House, Koskinen would then face a trial in the Senate and possible dismissal from office.
The presiding officer in the House chamber, once Fleming read out the charges against Koskinen, said that the Republican leadership will not determine right away whether or not the impeachment resolution is "privileged" and thus advance to an immediate vote. Today, members of the House of Representatives leave Washington for their annual recess, which means a vote will not come until September.
Among those who are keen on passing the resolution is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the House Freedom Caucus. He thanked Fleming and Huelskamp for introducing it yesterday. Jordan said today, "Mr. Koskinen has failed the American people through gross negligence, dereliction of duty, and violating the public trust." Jordan said.
If it came to a vote, the House might very well impeach Koskinen, which would lead to a trial in the Senate. A vote to convict him would mean Koskinen's immediate removal from office.
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