IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that targeting of conservative groups is “absolutely” no longer happening, a claim that was quickly refuted by Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
“Mr. Koskinen, is the IRS still targeting conservative groups?” Jordan asked the IRS boss, who responded “absolutely not.”
“Mr. Koskinen, that’s not what the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said. They just issued a decision on August 5, 2016, last month, and I just want to read from that decision.”
According to the decision, “cessation has never occurred,” Jordan read.
“The IRS has admitted to the Inspector General, to the District Court, and to this court that applications for exemption by some plaintiffs have never to this day been processed.”
“Sounds like targeting is still going on to me,” Jordan continued. “Let me just paraphrase that: It’s absurd to say targeting has stopped when the unlawful conduct continues. Again, this is not Jim Jordan saying this, this is not Donald Trump saying this, this is not the Freedom Caucus saying this, this is the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided just six weeks ago. So you guys are still up to it, aren’t you?”
Koskinen denied Jordan’s assertion, claiming that the decision was mistaken.
“There are three cases out of the 145 that have not been processed because they are in litigation and our policy for years has been if you’re in a process and then you sue us we stop the process,” he explained. “But, those are three from four or five years ago. They are not new cases.”
Jordan quickly cut off Koskinen.
“Yeah these guys have been waiting four or five, some cases six years, and, you know, I figured you would say that, and it doesn’t carry much weight with me, and it frankly didn’t carry any weight with the court.”
“Here is what the court said to that very argument. They said, the IRS is telling applicants in these cases, ‘We’ve been violating your rights, not processing your applications. You are entitled to have your applications processed but if you ask for that processing by way of a lawsuit, then you can’t have it.’ So the court wasn’t buying your argument. They don’t care what your internal policy is, they’re more concerned about people’s fundamental liberties and you guys continue to violate them.”