On Wednesday morning, I have the honor of appearing before Committee of the Judiciary in the United States House of Representatives. The hearing entitled “Examining The Allegations of Misconduct of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen” will address the options facing Congress in addressing alleged misconduct by Commissioner Koskinen. The hearing will start at 10 am in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building. My testimony is linked below.
Since the hearing is focused on the options rather than the merits of congressional action against Commissioner Koskinen, I will be solely addressing the range of remedies available to the Congress under the Constitution. Having served as lead counsel before the Senate in an impeachment trial and represented the House of Representatives as an institution in a federal challenge to executive overreach, I do not take such remedies lightly. While Koskinen should have every opportunity to defend his actions, there have been objections that the House could not proceed with an impeachment or even a censure as a constitutional matter. I believe that those arguments are misplaced and that the controversy should serve to focus the attention of members on the array of options available in such cases. This includes my long-standing suggestion of a comprehensive review of both new and dormant powers that could be used in such conflicts between the branches. Congress, however, is facing an unprecedented erosion of its authority vis-à-vis the Executive Branch. If we are to see a rebalancing of the system, it will require a more active use of sanctions to deter obstruction and contempt of congressional committees.
Here is the testimony: TestimonyTurley.Censure.House.final