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July 28, 2015

House Committee Head Calls for Ouster of IRS Commissioner

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked President Obama to fire Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen over his handling of congressional inquiries into alleged IRS targeting of conservative groups, writes The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter to the president, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz accused Mr. Koskinen of "obstruction," citing among other things the IRS's loss of thousands of emails to and from Lois Lerner that were sought by investigators. Ms. Lerner retired as head of the tax agency's nonprofits unit in September 2013, four months after she disclosed that her office closely scrutinized Tea Party groups' applications for tax-exempt status.

Last year the House voted to hold Ms. Lerner, who has denied any wrongdoing, in contempt of Congress for declining to answer questions on the matter at hearings. Mr. Chaffetz threatened to initiate similar proceedings against Mr. Koskinen, who took over leadership of the IRS in December 2013. A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, which includes the IRS, said Mr. Koskinen has Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew's "full confidence."