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Tag Archives: John Koskinen

IRS chief throws ‘2 guys on night shift’ under bus

By Garth Kant | 22 September 2016


IRS Director John Koskinen blamed “two guys on the night shift” for destroying key evidence sought by Congress.

He testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he did not personally instruct employees not to destroy backup tapes of 24,000 emails under subpoena in the investigation into the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

“I did not personally do that. I was assured managers understood,” he testified.

Koskinen said everyone apparently understood except “two guys on the night shift” at the IRS facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where the backup tapes containing the subpoenaed emails were destroyed. He also denied he had given orders to delete the tapes.

jason-chaffetzFireworks erupted when Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, pressed Koskinen on his previous testimony that no evidence had been destroyed, asking, “Who had confirmed that? Who were these people?”

Koskinen said they were IRS executives and IT employees.

But the congressman noted the inspector general had determined the IRS never even checked to see if those backup tapes existed. The IG found that backup tapes containing 24,000 emails had been destroyed, and also found some tapes that still existed containing more than 1,000 missing emails. “We only found them because we looked,” the IG office had reported.

“That was false!” Chaffetz thundered.

The congressman said no ordinary taxpayer could survive such an excuse at the hands of the IRS and admonished the director, “You can dish it out, but you can’t take it.”

“You’ve provided false testimony,” charged  a visibly livid Chaffetz, “and you should held accountable for that.”

The testimony came during a House Judiciary committee hearing on whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against the IRS commissioner.

“I accept that it is up to you to judge my overall record, but I believe impeachment would be improper,” said Koskinen.

The inquiry centers on whether Koskinen obstructed the congressional investigation of the IRS targeting of conservative groups by denying and delaying applications for tax-exempt status.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Chaffetz continually pressed Koskinen for making a false statement under oath in 2014 when he testified no evidence had been destroyed. Koskinen persistently claimed he was not aware the evidence had been destroyed when he made that statement.

Chaffetz asked the IRS commissioner why he then waited four months before informing Congress that evidence had, in fact, been destroyed by his agency.
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