Just days after former IRS official Lois Lerner escaped criminal charges from the Department of Justice, Republicans in Congress moved to impeach the head of the tax agency for his role in trying to cover up the misconduct that landed Lerner under investigation.
The impeachment resolution, brought Tuesday by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, capped off a week that saw the embattled tax agency back under fire for a scandal that surfaced more than two years ago.
Republicans revisited the scandal on Friday, when the Justice Department announced it was ending its criminal probe of the IRS without pressing any charges.
Republicans were outraged that Lerner, who ran the IRS tax-exempt unit that was accused of targeting conservative groups, would not face any accountability for her involvement in the controversial practice. The Justice Department's move reignited accusations that the agency under President Obama has failed to hold members of the administration responsible for misconduct.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., blasted the Justice Department's decision as further evidence of the lawlessness in the administration.
"Giving Lois Lerner a free pass only reinforces the idea that government officials are above the law and that there is no consequence for wrongdoing," he said Friday.
"This announcement is a reminder that the Obama administration continues to refuse to hold anyone accountable at the IRS," added Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight Committee.
The IRS faced additional questions Monday when the Guardian newspaper published documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that showed the tax agency is one of only three federal agencies that use cell phone surveillance equipment without a warrant.
The two others, the CIA and the NSA, have battled criticism of the surveillance technology amid increasing concerns about civil liberties.
But the IRS encountered what may be its biggest hurdle yet when Chaffetz and 18 members of his committee introduced a formal resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for allegedly obstructing the committee's investigation.
Although Koskinen was not with the IRS when the targeting scandal erupted, he presided over much of the subsequent fallout, appearing before Congress multiple times to defend his agency's innocence.
Chaffetz alleged Koskinen had stonewalled subpoenas and lied to lawmakers about the status of Lerner's emails, many of which were lost in a hard drive crash but later recovered by the inspector general.
Koskinen had told Congress those emails were unrecoverable, although investigators later found his agency had put forth little effort to determine if that was actually the case.
Republicans on the Oversight Committee first began calling for Koskinen's removal in July, but the White House denied the request and defended the IRS commissioner.
The last time Congress attempted to impeach an agency head was in 1876, when the House unsuccessfully attempted to remove William Belknap, the secretary of war.