President Trump is in the process of getting his administration in order (with Congress being the holdup) and has not yet gotten around to replacing the chief of the IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen. He was appointed during the Obama Administration and still holds the post despite recent scandals that implied favoritism toward some religions and not others. Vietnam veteran Charles Benninghoff is one of those who are calling for Chief Koskinen’s replacement and, in fact, says that Congress should reinstate impeachment proceedings against Koskinen that were derailed last year.
Replacement of Obama Era IRS Chief Koskinen
Of special concern is illegal targeting of Christian groups who have had to wait years for approval of their nonprofit status despite a Supreme Court ruling that the First Amendment forbids the government to favor one viewpoint over another. The IRS is violating this ruling with practices such as prioritizing the approval organizations such as a kid’s Satan Club (for real!!), which obtained nonprofit status within ten days. Likewise, a suspect nonprofit organization founded by Obama’s brother received its status within 33 days and went on to build a mosque and a hotel in Kenya.
It’s notable that Koskinen did skip last year’s impeachment proceedings, in which Republicans made the case that he did not adequately comply with a congressional subpoena, erased backup tapes containing implicating emails belonging to IRS official Lois Lerner, and then failed to tell the full truth about his actions. The articles of impeachment against Koskinen as listed in Mr. Benninghoff’s video on the subject specifically stated:
- Article One: Koskinen had IRS employees magnetically erase 24,000 Lois Lerner emails after receiving a congressional subpoena.
- Article Two: Koskinen lied to Congress three separate times in his testimony while under oath.
- Article Three: Koskinen repeatedly violated his promise to a Senate committee to be open and transparent about the investigation.
- Article Four: Koskinen failed to act with competence in the investigation of the IRS targeting scandal.
How should conservatives react to this news that Koskinen has not yet resigned or been forced out despite his actions during the Obama Administration? Activists recommend contacting members of Congress and especially the House Oversight Committee by personal letter to request that they reopen impeachment proceedings into the matter. At the very least, Koskinen should have already been replaced with someone who can take a more balanced view of applications for nonprofit status and not favor one religion over others as soon as possible.
This will take a concerted effort that can be organized through the wise use of social media by Christians and others who are concerned about the implications inherent in the IRS prioritizing the applications of some religious (and sometimes non-religious and potentially harmful) nonprofits over others based on their viewpoints. Electronic newsletters such as the ones produced by Prayfor.us (and, of course, websites like Absolute Rights and Charles Benninghoff’s personal website) are good ways to get news on issues that conservatives and believers care about. It is also helpful to know how to contact members of the House of Representatives and Senate to voice your opinion on important issues that could have a major financial impact the nonprofit organizations that you support.
Most importantly, IRS employees must get the message that nonprofits run according to the Christian faith should not be treated any differently from any other nonprofit, and ones that fraudulently claim to be a nonprofit when they aren’t should be penalized for fraud. (What kind of nonprofit really needs a hotel unless part of their charitable cause includes providing people who are down on their luck a temporary place to stay?) With Trump in office now, he should be able to do something about this by leaning on Koskinen to resign. Likewise, voters who care about their First Amendment rights not being violated by the IRS or any other government agency can always call their Senators and Representatives to express their support for replacing Koskinen.
What do you think of having Koskinen still around from the Obama Era? Let us know in the comment section below.