The Hill reports that the U.S. Treasury Department has just announced the departure of Trump-appointed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig.
The news was announced on Friday in a statement released by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“I want to thank Commissioner Rettig for his tireless service to the American people across two administrations, and his leadership of the IRS during the difficult and unique challenges posed by COVID-19,” Yellen said.
She added, “I am grateful to him for his partnership and efforts to ensure taxpayers had the resources they needed to make it through the pandemic.”
The big question: “Why?”
As is often the case with such situations, the public is not told why it is that Rettig is departing. And so, all one can do is consider the context of the departure and speculate.
One thing that is for sure is that the IRS, under Rettig’s leadership, has been facing a lot of controversy in recent years, with criticism coming, at times, from both the political right and the political left. Both sides have accused the agency of having become politicized.
The left, for example, has been calling for Rettig’s resignation ever since the IRS conducted audits of two former top FBI officials, former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The left also has also gone after the IRS for refusing to release former President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Another thing that can’t be overlooked is that Rettig’s departure comes as the IRS has been given, by the passage of the “Inflation Reduction Act,” $80 billion over the next 10 years to supposedly modernize the agency and increase the enforcement of tax law, something that Republicans have vowed to combat because they believe that the effect will be the targeting of everyday Americans.
So, if one had to guess why it is that Rettig is departing, it is to clear the way for the Democrats to push through their IRS agenda.
Rettig’s term officially comes to an end in mid-November. The question now is who is going to replace him.
For now, Deputy Commissioner Douglas O’Donnell will be named the acting chief of the IRS.
O’Donnell will take over until Congress approves a new IRS commissioner. It is unclear when this might happen.