House Republicans have been trying to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen since before he was even appointed to the position. You may recall that Republicans were outraged(!) over his response to the fake IRS scandal even though the fake scandal began a year before he was named commissioner.
But Trump is in office now and the coast should be clear to remove Koskinen, right? Perhaps not.
Koskinen's term will end next month regardless, but at least some Republicans are angry that they were never able to forcibly remove him from office and they apparently believe he was allowed to finish out his term because he's seen Trump's tax returns.
Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia told Business Insider that the rule of law never applied to Koskinen, even into the Trump administration.
"The IRS was shown to be targeting groups — tea-party groups in my own district — it was proven and nothing happens to big elites," Brat said. "Because they know where bodies are buried on our side and on the other side and, unfortunately, the rule of law is not kicking in."
Brat also floated the idea that Trump did not immediately fire Koskinen upon becoming president because of an ongoing audit of his personal finances.
"I'm speculating on that, but what's one of the key issues with Trump? Tax returns, right?" Brat said. "So it makes you suspicious that it's so bad."
I suppose this is a conspiracy theory, but it's not being floated by one Trump's liberal opponents such as myself. This is a Republican conspiracy theory, or at least it is now.
Representative Brat says "nothing happens" to "the big elites" but, as I already pointed out, Koskinen was not the commissioner of the IRS when the targeting began.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration also just recently released a report concluding that the IRS also flagged liberal groups for extra scrutiny. Koskinen wasn't the commissioner when that happened, either.
The idea that Trump is afraid of what the commissioner could do with his tax returns is actually the most plausible thing Rep. Brat said. The rest is horseshit.