John Andrew Koskinen (born June 30, 1939) is an American businessman
and public official of Finnish descent. He served as the non-executive
from September 2008 to December 2011, retiring
from the board in February 2012. On December 20, 2013, Koskinen was
confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) as commissioner of Internal Revenue. On December 23, 2013,
Koskinen was sworn in as the 48th IRS commissioner after being
nominated by President Obama. His term ended on November 12, 2017,
becoming his interim replacement.
1 Early life
2.1 Appointment as IRS Commissioner
2.2 Impeachment proceedings
3 Personal life
5 External links
Koskinen was born on June 30, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated
magna cum laude with a BA in physics from
Duke University in 1961,
where he was a member of the
Sigma Chi Fraternity
Sigma Chi Fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa.
He graduated with an LLB, cum laude from
Yale Law School
Yale Law School in 1964, and
did postgraduate work in Cambridge University, Cambridge, England,
Koskinen served as president of the
U.S. Soccer Foundation from
2004-08. He previously served as the deputy mayor of the District of
Columbia, the deputy director for management of the Office of
Management and Budget, and then later President Clinton's chairman of
the President's Council on Y2K, 2000 Conversion, the Year 2000
He served on the board of AES from 2004-13 and American Capital, Ltd
from 2007-13. On March 11, 2009, he was announced as the interim CEO
at Freddie Mac. On April 23, 2009, he became the principal financial
officer after the death of Freddie Mac's acting CFO, David Kellermann.
In August 2009, with the hiring of a new CEO, he returned to his
position as non-executive chairman of the board of Freddie
Prior to entering government service, Koskinen worked for 21 years for
The Palmieri Company as vice president, president, CEO, and chairman,
working on the turnaround of large, failed enterprises such as the
Penn Central Transportation Company, Levitt and Sons, the Teamsters
Pension Fund, Mutual Benefit, and Equity Programs Investment
Corporation. Earlier in his career, Koskinen served as administrative
assistant to Senator
Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.) from 1969 to 1973, was
legislative assistant to Mayor
John Lindsay of
New York City
New York City from
1968-69, served as assistant to the deputy executive director of the
National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the "Kerner
Commission") from 1967-68, practiced law with the firm of Gibson, Dunn
and Crutcher from 1966-67, and clerked for Judge David Bazelon, chief
judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, from
1965 to 1966.
Koskinen also chaired the Washington, D.C., host committee for the
1994 World Cup
1994 World Cup and the
Duke University board of trustees. He is a
fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Appointment as IRS Commissioner
On August 1, 2013, the White House announced President Obama would
nominate Koskinen as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
On December 20, 2013, Senate Democrats voted 56–39 for cloture on
the nomination, cutting off a Republican-led filibuster. Senators
then confirmed Koskinen in a 59-36 vote, along party lines. On
December 23, 2013, he was sworn in as the 48th IRS Commissioner.
Koskinen took office following the IRS scandal in which conservative
political groups were targeted for extensive scrutiny by the IRS. The
Washington Post awarded Koskinen "Three Pinocchios" for stating during
congressional testimony on March 26, 2014, that "the inspector general
found inappropriate criteria were used to select organizations for
further review—he did not refer to it as targeting."
In June 2014, Koskinen informed Congress that 30,000 emails from the
account of a central figure in the scandal, Lois Lerner, had been
lost. It later came to light that Koskinen had known about the lost
emails in April and had waited until the information was disclosed in
a court case to notify Congress. Koskinen stated: "We confirmed that
backup tapes from 2011 no longer existed because they have been
recycled, pursuant to the IRS normal policy." In September 2014, the
Treasury Department inspector general reported that it had found 760
tapes from which it later recovered Lerner's emails.
After the Justice Department notified Congress in October 2015 that
there would be no charges against
Lois Lerner or anyone else in the
IRS, 19 Republican members of the House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee led by the committee's chairman, Jason Chaffetz
(R-Utah), filed a resolution to impeach Koskinen.
Those sponsoring the impeachment resolution to remove Koskinen from
office accused him of failing to prevent the destruction of evidence
in allowing the erasure of backup tapes containing thousands of
e-mails written by Lerner, and of making false statements under oath
to Congress. In a statement released by the committee,
Chaffetz said Koskinen "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."
The IRS said on October 27 that it did not have an immediate comment
on the impeachment resolution. Representative Elijah Cummings
(D-Maryland), the committee's top Democrat, said in a statement: "This
ridiculous resolution will demonstrate nothing but the Republican
obsession with diving into investigative rabbit holes that waste tens
of millions of taxpayer dollars while having absolutely no positive
impact on a single American. Calling this resolution a 'stunt' or a
'joke' would be insulting to stunts and jokes."
The resolution was referred to the House Judiciary committee, which
held hearings on the matter on May 23 and June 22,
The House leadership decided not to proceed further which led to
threats to offer a privileged resolution for impeachment. On
December 6, 2016, such a privileged resolution was offered, but the
House voted to send the question back to the Judiciary Committee.
Koskinen is married to Patricia Salz and has a daughter, Cheryl, and a
son, Jeffery Koskinen. He is a 1957 Graduate of Ashland High
School in Ashland, Kentucky.
Koskinen Stadium at Duke University, which hosts the Duke soccer and
lacrosse teams, was named and dedicated in 1999 in honor of the
support of John and Patricia Koskinen.
Koskinen contributed almost US$100,000 to Democratic candidates and
groups as of June 25, 2014.
^ a b Kroh, Eric (December 23, 2013). "2013 TNT 247-1 Koskinen Sworn
in as IRS Commissioner". Tax Analysts. Missing or empty url=
^ Alexis Leondis (October 26, 2017). "White House Names Treasury's
David Kautter as Interim IRS Head".
Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved October
^ "John Koskinen: Executive Profile & Biography". Business Week.
^ "7/14/98: Briefing by
John Koskinen on Y2K Conversion".
^ Anonymous (4 June 2012). "Government Information Connection".
University of North Texas Libraries.
^ "John A. Koskinen". people.equilar.com. Retrieved August 1,
^ "Obama Picks Restructuring Expert To Take Over IRS". NPR. Retrieved
1 August 2013.
^ "Obama to nominate corporate turnaround specialist for IRS chief".
The Hill. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress - 1st
Session". senate.gov. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
^ "IRS chief: No 'targeting' of tea party groups, just 'inappropriate
criteria'". Washington Post. April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 26,
^ "'Lost' IRS Emails Found". WSJ. November 27, 2014. Retrieved April
^ a b c "House Republicans, in last-ditch effort, move to impeach IRS
commissioner over targeting scandal", Washington Post, October 28,
^ a b c d e Theodore Schleifer and Tom LoBianco, "House Republicans
move to impeach IRS head", cnn.com, October 27, 2015; retrieved
October 28, 2015.
^ Herszenhorn, David M.; Calmes, Jackie (May 23, 2016). "House to
Consider I.R.S. Commissioner's Impeachment". NYTimes.com. Retrieved
April 6, 2018.
IRS Commissioner Won't Testify at Impeachment Hearing". Roll Call.
May 23, 2016.
^ CNN, Eugene Scott. "GOP pols argue for impeachment of IRS
commissioner". CNN. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
^ "Republicans moving forward with IRS impeachment gambit".
^ Jagoda, Naomi (June 13, 2016). "House panel to again consider IRS
commissioner impeachment". thehill.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
^ Ornstein, Norm. "The Show Trial of
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen".
theatlantic.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
^ "Freedom Caucus threatens end run around Ryan on IRS
^ "Conservatives want to force House vote to impeach IRS chief".
usatoday.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
^ "John Koskinen, IRS commissioner, spared impeachment by House".
washingtontimes.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
^ "John Andrew Koskinen". nndb.com. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
^ "Koskinen Stadium". Duke University. Retrieved 20 December
John Koskinen is major Democratic donor". Fox
News. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
Appearances on C-SPAN
Commissioner of Internal Revenue