Republicans Push to Impeach IRS Commissioner After It Discriminated Against Pro-Life Groups

National   Steven Ertelt   Oct 28, 2015   |   10:04AM    Washington, DC

The pro-life movement has no love for the Internal Revenue Service after the agency repeatedly discriminated against pro-life groups seeking nonprofit status for their work defending unborn babies from abortions.

The IRS was  found to be targeting pro-life and conservative groups because of their positions and  a tape was released showing a disturbing phone call the Internal Revenue Service placed to a non-profit organization telling it to keep its Christian faith and views on abortion to itself.

In the wake of that Obama administration scandal, House Republicans today introduced a resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, accusing him of making “false statements” under oath and failing to comply with a subpoena for evidence.

Fox News has more on the move:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and 18 other committee members introduced the resolution to begin impeachment proceedings. In doing so, they followed through on a threat first made over the summer, when Republicans accused the IRS leader of making inaccurate statements to Congress regarding the Tea Party targeting scandal and its aftermath.

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“Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust,” Chaffetz said in a statement Tuesday. “He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled.

“Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress.”

The IRS issued a statement later Thursday saying, “The IRS vigorously disputes the allegations in the resolution. We have fully cooperated with all of the investigations.”

Although Koskinen took over in late 2013, after the scandal broke, Republicans say he has not been forthcoming in offering information helpful to exposing the scandal and addressing the concerns related to it.

The resolution containing articles of impeachment accused him of “high crimes and misdemeanors” over the following allegations:

  • That he failed to preserve IRS records in accordance with a congressional subpoena; the resolution notes the IRS erased hundreds of backup tapes containing potentially thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the former official at the heart of the controversy.

  • That he made “false and misleading statements” to Congress, including claiming “nothing” had been “lost” or “destroyed.”

  • That he did not notify Congress of missing emails until June 2014, despite allegedly being aware earlier.

During Congressional hearings on the IRS discrimination last year, IRS official Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment during a Congressional hearing attempting to uncover more answers about why the IRS, during the Obama administration, has targeted pro-life and conservative groups.

IRS officials knew as early as 2010 that pro-life and conservative groups were being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service.

James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate, disclosed that he was a victim of IRS discrimination because he spoke out against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion and it eventually appeared before a Congressional committee to explain how.

Also, last year, the IRS came under fire for allegedly monitoring the content of sermons of evangelical churches.

Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches.

ADF submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS’s agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press release the group issued on July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like.

“Secrecy breeds mistrust, and the IRS should know this in light of its recent scandals involving the investigation of conservative groups,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “We are asking the IRS to disclose the new protocols and procedures it apparently adopted for determining whether to investigate churches. What it intends to do to churches must be brought into the light of day.”

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