Saturday, June 25, 2016

To Impeach or Not to Impeach

For John, BLUFI say impeach, so there is some respect for Congress.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today was Day 1143 in the IRS Tax Scandal, and the Tax Prof Blog talks about Impeachment.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen probably was the happiest person in Washington, D.C., today.  On a day when the House Judiciary Committee's second hearing on his possible impeachment might otherwise have garnered much attention, the Capitol Hill session was upstaged by two other events. ...

[W]hat did all normal, nontax nerds who took a pass miss on the Koskinen front?  Not much.

Same old, same old:  The wagons were circled along party lines, with Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte spelling out the "serious allegations of misconduct" against Koskinen in his opening statement. ...

Giving false testimony to Congress about how the Internal Revenue Service [mis]handled intra-agency emails is an impeachable offense, but House [Republican] action sans Senate support would be a mistake.  That was the assessment of Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, at part 2 of the House Judiciary Committee's hearing to consider the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. ...

Michael Gerhardt, however, told Judiciary members that, "In my opinion, I think gross negligence doesn't qualify" as one of the constitutional requirements -- treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors -- for impeachment.  Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina Law School, said in his view, impeachable conduct would have to involve "bad intent."

The conflicting opinions of legal experts, which also included George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley and Todd Garvey, legislative attorney with the Library of Congress, mirrored the disputes among the committee members themselves. ...

So far, Chaffetz has been able to get his GOP colleagues on Government Reform to agree to censure Koskinen.  But his chances of impeachment the IRS chief are smaller.  Neither House nor Senate Republican leaders have expressed support for the effort.

So, you can be a Government Official, an appointed official, confirmed by Congress even, and you can't be impeached for lying to Congress?  Interesting.  I wonder how that would work in a Trump Administration, especially if the Democrats held both houses of Congress?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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