The fate of embattled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is likely to remain up in the air until at least November, as the divided Republican Party continues to debate what to do next following his impeachment hearing last week.
But after the election, Republican leaders could be forced once again by conservative lawmakers to consider the idea of impeaching Koskinen on the House floor.
A faction of House conservatives believes the hearing proved their argument that lawmakers should vote to impeach Koskinen because he oversaw the destruction of emails that Republicans were seeking related to the IRS targeting scandal.
"All we're asking is this guy no longer hold this office," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said after questioning Koskinen, who was under oath at the Wednesday hearing. "That's all we're asking. And in light of this fact pattern, I think that's the least we can do."
Jordan and others accuse Koskinen of lying under oath about efforts to preserve the emails, though Koskinen told the Judiciary Committee he wasn't aware those emails were destroyed when he made that pledge. "The statement was not correct in light of that evidence, which I did not know," Koskinen said at the hearing.
Still, Jordan told the Washington Examiner last week that he hasn't changed his mind about wanting to oust Koskinen. "We are committed to having a vote on impeachment," he said.
But the timing is uncertain, and it's not clear it will come to a vote. Conservatives cut a deal with GOP leadership to hold off a floor vote on impeachment in September in exchange for the Judiciary hearing.
Now that the hearing is over, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., will have to decide whether or when to schedule an impeachment vote at the committee level, which is the next step in an impeachment proceeding.
The House Republican conference is divided on the issue. Many GOP lawmakers still want to avoid an impeachment vote because they believe Koskinen's actions to not reach the threshold for such a rare punishment of an administration official.
A spokeswoman declined to comment last week on whether Goodlatte plans to schedule a committee vote.
Jordan said his immediate goal is to convince Goodlatte to let the Judiciary Committee hold a vote. "We know if we had the vote, we'd win," Jordan told the Examiner.
The articles of impeachment will be sent to the House floor if adopted by a majority vote of the Judiciary Committee.
Jordan said if the committee declines to hold the vote, Freedom Caucus members will bring it to the floor themselves, perhaps as soon as Congress returns for the lame-duck session after the November election. He played down the threat of Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, forcing an impeachment vote in the coming week, which he had pledged to do earlier this month.
Huelskamp told the Examiner last week he had not decided whether to bring up an impeachment vote in September, which he could do under a special floor procedure. It would require lawmakers to either table the vote, refer it back to the Judiciary Committee or vote on impeachment.
Jordan told the Examiner he "strongly discouraged" Huelskamp from bringing up the vote next week, which will likely be the last time the House is in session before the November election.
Huelskamp was the original co-sponsor of the resolution to vote on impeaching Koskinen along with Rep. John Fleming, R-La. Fleming said the hearing proved the Freedom Caucus case that Koskinen should go, but he stopped short of calling for impeachment.
"I think Congress and the American people received confirmation that their instincts were correct," Fleming said. "Koskinen should do the right thing and resign his office."