Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is keeping tabs on the House Oversight Committee investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups.
The committee has started a push to impeach Commissioner John Coskinen.
Fortenberry says the impeachment discussion should get the attention of the agency.
“The committee members are frustrated, clearly. They don’t feel like they’ve gotten the spirit of cooperation at all from the IRS,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “The impeachment is a very heavy-handed mechanism to throw at a public official, particularly in the executive branch.”
Fortenberry says the investigation is worthwhile because the IRS must not be allowed to use the power of the federal government to suppress political activity. The primary charge against Coskinen is that he lied to Congress during the investigation into the allegation that the IRS treated conservative groups differently from other special interest groups.
Fortenberry isn’t pushing for impeachment, but believes the threat of impeachment is getting a point across with an agency that has been stonewalling Congress.
“I think the impeachment concept is an attempt to use a much heavier hand, not only to get the IRS’ attention, but to try to get underneath what actually happened.”
Kevin Thomas of KLIN contributed to this story.