The Justice Department's announcement that it would not seek criminals charges against the IRS and former official Lois Lerner neither surprised nor satisfied IRS critics. It is clear that tea party groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and many even assert that this targeting had an effect on the 2012 presidential campaign by putting tea party groups out of action.  

The worst that the investigation found was mismanagement and poor judgment:

"Our investigation uncovered substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints,'' Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said Friday in a notification letter to Congress.

"But poor management is not a crime. We found no evidence that that any IRS official acted based on political discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.''

Lois Lerner became a household name.  When she started to take some heat, the agency spun the scandal as the work of rogue agents and simply made it difficult or impossible for congressional investigators to obtain information. For over two years investigations have been stonewalled and we're left with excuses (including Lerner’s computer eating her emails) and thwarted congressional hearings during which Lerner stayed mum.

IRS head John Koskinen was likewise unforthcoming, while there were even stories of erased emails.  There were calls for his resignation. Now a group of House Republicans led by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is seeking to use the last tool they have: impeaching Mr. Koskinen.

The Washington Post reports:

… Chaffetz said Koskinen had told lawmakers his agency had turned over all e-mails that were relevant to the investigation, and when e-mails were found to be missing, said they were unrecoverable.

“These statements were false,” Chaffetz said in a statement Tuesday.

“Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust,” Chaffetz said. “He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled.”

“Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress.”

As expected, Democrats have rallied around Koskinen:

“Calling this resolution a ‘stunt’ or a ‘joke’ would be insulting to stunts and jokes,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.) the committee’s top Democrat, said in a statement. He said the impeachment resolution was “ridiculous” and a waste of taxpayer money.

“Instead of squandering millions of taxpayer dollars on baseless partisan attacks,” Cumming said, “the committee should focus on issues that matter to all Americans, like bringing down the costs of prescription drugs, as I have requested for the past year with no success.”

Cummings added that there is no evidence Koskinen did what Chaffetz is accusing him of and said IRS has spent $20 million and 160,000 employee hours cooperating with investigations.

Lerner has managed to avoid being publicly held to account, and impeachment of Koskinen is just about the only thing Republicans have left to hold somebody accountable.  

As George Will wrote in a column headlined "Impeach the IRS Director:"

The Constitution’s framers, knowing that executive officers might not monitor themselves, provided the impeachment recourse to bolster the separation of powers. Federal officials can be impeached for dereliction of duty (as in Koskinen’s failure to disclose the disappearance of e-mails germane to a congressional investigation); for failure to comply (as in Koskinen’s noncompliance with a preservation order pertaining to an investigation); and for breach of trust (as in Koskinen’s refusal to testify accurately and keep promises made to Congress).

Even if, as Koskinen says, he did not intentionally mislead Congress, he did not subsequently do his legal duty to correct the record in a timely manner. Even if he has not committed a crime such as perjury, he has a duty higher than merely avoiding criminality.

If the House votes to impeach, the Senate trial will not produce a two-thirds majority needed for conviction: Democrats are not ingrates. Impeachment would, however, test the mainstream media’s ability to continue ignoring this five-year-old scandal and would demonstrate to dissatisfied Republican voters that control of Congress can have gratifying consequences.