Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned attorney Cleta Mitchell on Wednesday about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservatives, congressional efforts to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and cell tower-mimicking Stingray technology. Jordan pointed out that the IRS, while failing to collect roughly $385 billion in taxes for the Treasury Department, was instead spending its time acquiring and using Stingray technology, which could be used to violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.
“Three hundred and eighty-five billion dollars according to the GAO study that was released in the last two weeks. This is the fundamental mission of the Internal Revenue Service – is actually to collect the tax revenue due the federal treasury. That is what their job is and they are failing to the tune of $385 billion a year. If you think about our deficit this year, I think its $500 billion. This is a huge amount of money. So a $385 billion tax gap,” Jordan said during the hearing. “The GAO also recommended that the Internal Revenue Service employ 112 recommendations. One hundred and twelve specific things the IRS can do, to help them comply in accomplishing their fundamental mission. Collecting revenue for the Treasury to fund the things and services we have in our government. And to date, the IRS has only implemented 62. So less than half of the recommendations to help accomplish their fundamental mission, they have actually put into practice. So, the very agency that has a $385 billion tax gap can’t even do half of the recommendations GAO says you should do to accomplish your fundamental mission, [but] has time to target people for exercising their First Amendment liberties.”
Mitchell, a partner at the law firm Foley and Lardner, represented several Tea Party groups that were targeted by the IRS.
Jordan also questioned David Bernstein, a George Mason University professor. Other witnesses included Emily Hammond from George Washington University Law School and Andrew Grossman, a partner at the law firm Baker & Hostetler.
Video of Jordan’s Q/A with Mitchell, part one: https://youtu.be/lq4ECQWhbr0
Video of Jordan’s Q/A with Mitchell, part two: https://youtu.be/uKoxa32SDcQ
Last week, Rep. Jordan and several colleagues held a special order on the floor of the House of Representatives calling for Koskinen’s impeachment. To watch Rep. Jordan’s statement, click here: https://youtu.be/8SdhuECydUE
Last year, Reps. Jordan and DeSantis outlined the reasons for impeaching Koskinen in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. To read the op-ed, click here: http://jordan.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=397943