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Backup of Lois Lerner's 'lost' emails has been found

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner exercises her Fifth Amendment right not to speak
Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner exercises her Fifth Amendment right not to speak
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The allegedly “missing” Lois Lerner emails have been found, apparently on a government wide backup system that is taken in the event of a systematic disaster, according to a Monday story in the Washington Examiner. The Justice Department informed the watchdog group, Judicial Watch, of this development. The twist is that now the Obama administration is claiming that the emails will just be too hard to retrieve due to the massive size of the backup system. Rep, Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee that is looking into the IRS targeting of conservative groups, is not amused.

Lois Lerner, a former IRS official, is at the heart of a scandal in which the tax agency specifically targeted conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status for special harassment. Lerner has thus far pleaded her Fifth Amendment rights not to incriminate herself when asked questions on the subject. When asked to turn over emails from Lerner and other IRS officials, the tax agency claimed that they were lost in multiple hard drive crashes and that the backup was destroyed.

Issa will now recall the IRS commissioner, who had told his committee that the emails were permanently lost, and ask him some rather hard questions in a private deposition. Issa suggests that he either lied while under oath, a federal crime, or else “choose not to know” certainly relevant facts. Either way, the matter suggests that there is a cover up going on at the IRS concerning how high up the conservative group targeting has gone.

Now that the existence of the email backups has been admitted to, it is virtually certain that they will be retrieved, no matter how difficult in may be, and then examined in great detail. The suspicion is that they contain some rather damning information. Otherwise, why go to such trouble to deny their existence?