A Republican-run House committee Wednesday voted along party lines to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, saying he failed to provide information demanded by Congress and lied under oath as lawmakers investigated allegations the agency targeted tea party groups that had applied for tax-exempt status.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Koskinen had made untrue statements to investigators examining the IRS’ treatment of conservative groups, including testimony the agency had turned over emails requested by Congress when it had not.
“Mr. Koskinen failed to testify truthfully before Congress,” said Chaffetz, R-Utah, charging that the agency under Koskinen dragged its feet in producing key evidence and in reporting that employees had destroyed emails sought.
The 23-15 party-line vote doesn’t mean the measure will get a floor vote, however. Two other committees have jurisdiction and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has not rushed to embrace the idea.
Koskinen erroneously testified that the IRS had preserved emails relevant to the investigation when in reality hundreds of backup computer tapes had been destroyed. Republicans said he did not do enough to preserve and turn over the emails by a former IRS official, Lois Lerner, that involved scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt donations.
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