IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that some of the developments in the IRS scandal appear “suspicious,” but he has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Accordingly, he argued, bringing in a special prosecutor to investigate would be a “significant waste of taxpayer dollars.”
In the moderately tough interview on “The Situation Room,” Blitzer also grilled the IRS chief on reports suggesting he is a major Democratic donor.
Earlier in the segment, Koskinen claimed he has “no idea” why ex-IRS official Lois Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment.
On the topic of the actual IRS targeting scandal, Koskinen said “everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly, Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to.” He also called the scandal a “serious matter.”
While Blitzer was able to get the IRS commissioner to admit Lerner’s hard drive “crash” looks suspicious, Koskinen claimed no one was intentionally trying to “wipe out” evidence. It should be noted that, in addition to saying he has “no idea” why Lerner pleaded the Fifth, he also claims he never met Lerner.
When Blitzer later noted that Koskinen is a major Democratic donor who donated money to President Barack Obama’s campaign, Koskinen said he has “never been a partisan operative.”
“My goal is help restore people’s faith in the critical institution of the IRS,” he said.
Watch that entire exchange here via CNN:
“You don’t want the IRS to be getting involved in political witch hunts for political reasons,” Blitzer concluded. “And if in fact that occurred, that’s outrageous.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Koskinen replied.
The Washington Free Beacon has more information on Koskinen’s political donations to Democrats:
… It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.
Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.
Koskinen has been a reliable donor over the years, contributing a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He has made a contribution to the Democratic candidate for president in each election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.
Before ending the segment, Blitzer again suggested that perhaps a special prosecutor would be appropriate to “reassure the American people that it’s doing the right thing” and provide true closure to the IRS scandal.
And again, Koskinen was resistant to the idea, saying there are enough investigations currently underway.