IRS Commissioner John Koskinen seems to think that the IRS is some kind of universally beloved government agency that has a funding problem – because, obviously, a budget of $1.8 BILLION isn’t enough to keep paying your email-archiving contractor to keep possibly incriminating emails.
Leaving that aside, and that the Democrats are in the awkward position of defending a government entity that everyone on all sides of the political spectrum dreads (though they are doing their level best to defend a loyal Democratic donor), Koskinen is not coming off well to the American people. The House Oversight committee subpoenaed him to testify Monday evening regarding the “lost” Lois Lerner emails. Chairman Darrell Issa informed Koskinen that “I’ve lost my patience with you” after 6 minutes of Koskinen making excuses for why he didn’t inform Congress that the Lerner emails were no longer available. If you have the stomach for it, you can watch it:
Enter Trey Gowdy. He smacked Koskinen around mercilessly, proving that Koskinen has no knowledge of what laws have been broken and doesn’t seem to really care, either.
But the big question is, now what? Issa is subpoenaing Jennifer O’Connor, an attorney in the White House counsel’s office, who previously served as former IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel’s counsel, and was responsible for gathering documents that had been requested by the committee. But unless a John Dean suddenly appears out of thin air, Issa and Gowdy are grasping at shadows. We need a special prosecutor, and the rumblings in the media are getting louder about it. George Will summed it up succinctly on Sunday:
We know first the targeting occurred. Therefore, second, we know that this is worse than article two of the Nixon impeachment count, which said Nixon endeavored to use the IRS. The IRS back then resisted. Third, we know that this became public in an act of deceit when Lois Lerner planted a question with a friend in an audience to try and get this out on her own terms. Fourth, we know that she has taken the Fifth Amendment because she has a right to do this when she has a reasonable suspicion that there might be criminal activity involved. Fifth, we know that from the timeline you put up today, that there has been 13 months of stonewalling on this. And sixth, now we know that not only her hard drive, but six other people intimately involved in this suddenly crashed in an amazing miraculous coincidence. Religions have been founded on less, ten days after the investigation started. That’s why we need a special prosecutor.
He is right, but you’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for Eric Holder to act. Still, watching the White House tweet out the talking points from ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings that the White House knew nothing about anything, when there currently is no evidence at hand that says they did, seems awfully strange to me. Do we doth protest too much, Elijah Cummings?