House Impeachment Vote Delayed As IRS Commissioner Agrees To Testify

House Republican leaders and conservative hardliners reached a deal on Wednesday to delay a vote on the House floor to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, according to reports in the Washington Post and Politico.

GOP leaders and members of the Freedom Caucus agreed to push the impeachment vote planned for Thursday until after the November election with the assurance that Koskinen would testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week. The IRS commissioner had indicated in a Sept. 8 letter that he would be willing to testify before the panel, according to the Washington Post.

The hearing scheduled for next week is not an impeachment hearing, but will give Republicans the chance to quiz Koskinen.

The Freedom Caucus touted the agreement in a Wednesday statement, saying it will “give every American the opportunity to hear John Koskinen answer under oath why he misled Congress, allowed evidence pertinent to an investigation to be destroyed, and defied Congressional subpoenas and preservation orders,” according to the Washington Post.

“It will also remove any lingering excuses for those who have been hesitant to proceed with this course of action,” the statement continued, according to the Post.

The Freedom Caucus this week worked to force a vote on the House floor to impeach Koskinen, even though Republican leadership was wary of the impeachment effort’s partisan nature. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chair of the Judiciary Committee, has opposed impeaching Koskinen and the committee has not advanced impeachment proceedings, Politico noted.

Conservatives in the House say Koskinen misled members of Congress on the investigation into the scandal around the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

“John Andrew Koskinen engaged in a pattern of deception that demonstrates his unfitness to serve as a Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service,” Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), one of the members who has pushed to impeach Koskinen, said on the House floor Tuesday. “Commissioner Koskinen made a series of false and misleading statements to Congress in contravention of his oath to tell the truth.”

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