House conservatives may ignore Ryan, attempt to impeach IRS commissioner

Members of the House Freedom Caucus may go over the head of House Republican leaders, and put a special resolution on the floor to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, congressional sources told Fox News Tuesday.

Many conservatives have begged for the House Judiciary Committee to try to impeach Koskinen, but Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and members of the House GOP leadership have been not been receptive to the idea.

Congressional Republicans have sought to impeach Koskinen over grounds he intentionally ignored and “lied” to Congress about the agency’s 2010 targeting scandal.

The House Freedom Caucus is said to be preparing a “privileged” resolution to impeach Koskinen, congressional sources told Fox News. Privileged resolutions essentially go to the front of the legislative line, and leadership can't do anything about them. The House must consider a privileged resolution immediately or within two legislative days, by rule.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus would like to get an agreement from GOP leadership that they would hold an impeachment vote on Koskinen sometime in the next few months, congressional sources told Fox News. Instead of that, the Freedom Caucus may just author a privileged resolution going over the head of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

All impeachment injuries must advance through Goodlatte's panel, but at the request of House leadership, he convened two hearings on Koskinen’s potential impeachment in an effort to appease the House Freedom Caucus.

Such a maneuver would be an embarrassment to Ryan, who would prefer things operate through a committee system.

Ryan and other GOP leaders are worried about their members taking a vote on such an issue, and that the House might not approve a resolution to impeach Koskinen.

Ryan and GOP leadership also loathe to set a precedent by voting on the floor to impeach Koskinen, according to congressional sources.

Neither the House nor Senate has impeached any cabinet official since the mid-1870s. When it comes to someone other than a federal judge or a president, the House last voted to impeach a cabinet officials in 1876. That was Secretary of War William Belknap for accepting kickbacks for arms sales to France.

It still remains possible that the Freedom Caucus introduces their resolution in the House by Friday, forcing the issue to linger until September, according to congressional sources.

Last July, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., crafted an unprecedented, non-binding resolution to declare the Speaker’s chair vacant. Congress then left Washington for the August recess. In the end, Meadows tactic worked, as then-House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, later resigned.