Checks and Balances on the Executive Require That the IRS Chief Be Impeached

The Republican leadership in Congress, such as it is, appears to be more afraid of what the liberal Washington Post editorial and op-ed pages will say about them if they impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen than they are of allowing another of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives — in this case, checks and balances on executive-branch impropriety — to be emasculated.

What possible reason other than fear of being badmouthed by Post editorial writers — and perhaps being disinvited from the Georgetown cocktail-party circuit — can there be for their not pursuing articles of impeachment against Koskinen in connection with the IRS’ targeting for improper scrutiny of conservative groups seeking nonprofit tax-exempt status because of their political beliefs?

Republican congressional leaders, desperate to head off a special motion by the conservative House Freedom Caucus to bring the matter directly to the House floor, struck a deal with the caucus last week to call Koskinen before the Judiciary Committee on Sept. 21.

The impeachment naysayers seem to think that voters aren’t interested in Koskinen’s misdeeds and that impeachment would distract them from issues they’re interested in — as though voters can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. But that may just be a case of what psychologists call “projection” on the part of the House GOP leadership.