IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, long controversial among Republicans for his slow response to investigating the IRS targeting scandal, will be replaced by Treasury Department tax official David Kautter, who was appointed by the president as acting commissioner Thursday.
According to Fox News, Kautter will replace Koskinen when the IRS commissioner’s term expires on Nov. 13.
“I look forward to having David Kautter as acting commissioner of the IRS. David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent commissioner,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Assistant Secretary Kautter has had an illustrious 40-year career in tax policy, and I am confident that the IRS and the American people will benefit from his experience and insight.”
Kautter will serve in both positions until the Senate confirms a replacement for Koskinen.
IRS commissioners serve five-year terms at the pleasure of the president. While Koskinen was eligible for reappointment, as The Daily Caller notes, that was never a legitimate possibility given his extreme unpopularity among Republicans.
Koskinen was brought into the IRS in the aftermath of the targeting scandal, in which Tea Party groups were singled out by the department for audits solely due to their political beliefs.
The commissioner was widely seen as protecting the IRS and stalling investigations into the scandal — in particular into Lois Lerner, the IRS official most closely linked with the targeting.
According to The Hill, Lerner “was placed on leave in 2013, shortly after she publicly acknowledged the agency’s improper handling of the applications” of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. She then retired from the IRS. Two years later, former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice announced that it would not file criminal charges against her.
Congressional Republicans mounted an effort to impeach Koskinen last year, but failed. Earlier this year, fifteen Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, called on Trump to fire the commissioner.
“I have lost all faith in Commissioner Koskinen’s ability to lead the IRS,” Brady said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“He has been dishonest with Congress, and the IRS — under his watch — has continuously violated taxpayer rights. He has to go.”
The exhortations of the Ways and Means Committee, alas, were not enough to convince the president to send Koskinen packing. However, with Thursday’s appointment, conservatives made it clear he won’t be missed.
Koskinen’s departure won’t completely erase the disgrace of the IRS scandal, or its impact on the conservative groups that were targeted by Obama’s minions. But it could well be the beginning of getting justice from agency’s corruption.
“We’re glad to see him go,” said Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs at the conservative group Freedomworks. “He did not earn his salary or his big pension.”
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via Conservative Tribune
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