Republicans slammed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over his response to the IRS conservative-targeting scandal, while the mainstream media claimed it was a “kangaroo court.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) assailed Koskinen over his suggestion that the IRS is no longer targeting conservative and libertarian organizations for extra scrutiny when applying for nonprofit status.
“Now the clincher! Now the clincher! It’s still going on. And so the other side can say we shouldn’t be here today, you shouldn’t have to sit through this,” he said. “I’m saying, why haven’t we done this a long time ago? You should have been gone a long time ago.”
“Not Jim Jordan’s words. Not Freedom Caucus words. Words from the Court of Appeals. For goodness sake, that’s why this hearing is important and that’s why we should move forward with the articles that Mr. Chaffetz submitted 15 months ago and make sure you no longer hold office,” Jordan added.
Rep. Jordan was referring to a recent ruling from a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstating lawsuits from several conservative organizations against the IRS. The panel stated the IRS has failed to prove it has ceased its targeting of conservative organizations for extra scrutiny.
“With scathing language, it ruled that a lower court had improperly credited the IRS’s promises that it had ended its abusive targeting and sought to rectify the harms being sued over,” wrote Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute Center for Constitutional Studies. “In fact, the court said, evidence indicates that the IRS has not only failed to provide adequate guarantees of future good behavior, but continues even now to hassle some of the groups it harassed.”
House Democrats, along with many in the mainstream media, are attacking House Republicans for holding the hearing in the first place.
Dana Milbank, writing in the Washington Post, asserted the IRS has ceased targeting conservative organizations, despite the ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and claimed House Republicans “wheeled out the sacred tool of impeachment — weeks before an election — for the purpose of smearing an honorable public servant, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, in service of a lie.”
Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) hijacked the hearing to ask questions about Donald Trump’s taxes, asking “Is there anything that would prohibit someone from releasing their tax returns, if they want to, because they’re under audit?”