Over the past few years, the IRS caused problems for many conservative groups that tried to register non profit organizations. They asked for increasing amounts of information they were not authorized to request, holding up registrations for years.
This scandal went on until it was brought out into the open. About six months ago, the IRS official in charge of this overreach, Lois Lerner, pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify, after initially saying what she wanted to say.
Now we learn that the IRS is withholding government documents that the people wish to see publicly? The arrogance of the IRS and whoever is advising them is terrifying to any thinking American.
“Does a nonpartisan or nonpolitical agency withhold documents requested during a congressional investigation? The IRS does and did. You’ve been more concerned with managing the political fallout.” – Rep. Darrell Issa
Rep. Darrell Issa, the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman says the IRS are not doing their job. He is holding congressional investigations into the IRS scandal that saw them specifically targeting tea party groups. Issa’s remarks were directed to the new IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, Wednesday. Issa accused Koskinen of being more concerned with managing the political fallout than cooperating with the probe, according to a report in Politico.
Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican also took a turn asking for the material, and the exchanges between him and Koskinen can be heard in the video below.
The IRS must redact any information that relates to private taxpayer information that may be in Lois Lerner’s emails. This is the reason for the time it takes to provide the emails.
Koskinen claims IRS employees spent almost 100,000 hours and $8 million taxpayer dollars sending more than 1 million pages of documents to the committees, according to a Politico report.
Appearing irritated and defiant, Koskinen said, “We are working through the process. We never said we wouldn’t provide those. We will provide, we are actually trying to, in an orderly way, conclude the investigation.”
Koskinen claims the “vast majority” of information requested by Congress has been sent and they are in the “the home stretch.”
Neither Issa nor Gowdy agree with that statement.
Rep. Danny Davis, an Illinois Democrat on the committee was much easier on Koskinen. He said he thought the committee should rethink its approach, because it was asking for too much information that had no bearing on the case. He was much more willing to give the IRS a break.
It would be interesting to wonder what his approach would be if the IRS targets had been democrat groups.
Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, another committee member, told Politico, “Our witness today (Koskinen) won’t get us former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails. The guy who can give us the emails won’t give us the emails. The same people who pressured Lois Lerner to fix the problem are the same people who picked John Koskinen to finish the job.”