Yesterday, July 11, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton demanded a written affidavit specifically explaining the circumstances surrounding the IRS's Lois Lerner's computer hard drive crash. Lerner was found to be in Contempt of Congress in May for not answering questions during a Congressional inquiry. The inquiry focuses on Lerner's division of the IRS unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking non-profit status during the 2010 election season.
In 2011, within one week of learning Congress wanted her emails, Lerner's computer mysteriously crashed along with other computers that would have been helpful to the investigation. Once the computers crashed their hard drives were wiped clean and the machines were 'recycled' -- whereabouts currently unknown. Also during this period of time, Lerner's division of the IRS fired the email backup service company that was charged with retaining those emails. Conservatives feel it is a conspiracy against the law, while many liberals are on record it is nothing more than incompetency.
Many conservatives believe that Lerner's actions are a direct cover-up by the IRS and potentially could lead to President Obama being implicated in the scandal. In December, 2013, President Obama responded to critics on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. In that interview Obama stated:
“If on the other hand, you’ve got an office in Cincinnati, an IRS office, that I think for bureaucratic reasons, is trying to streamline a difficult law to begin with, and interpret whether a non-profit is a political organization, deserves a tax exempt agency, and they’ve got a list. Suddenly, everybody's outraged… And, I’ll point out that there are some so-called progressives and perceived to be liberal commentators during that week that were just outraged at the possibility that these folks had in some way been discriminated against. And, that is what gets news.”
The Congressional committee investigating the treatment of the non-profits by the IRS has been able to obtain some of Lerner's emails after retrieving them from other government computers. Earlier this week it was reported that one of those recovered emails had Lerner informed other IRS employees to "be cautious about what we say in emails."
On Thursday, Texas Republican David Stockman filed a resolution authorizing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to issue a warrant for Lerner’s arrest, demanding the Sergeant-at-Arms “to arrest and take into custody forthwith, wherever to be found, the body of Lois G. Lerner, and bring her to the bar of the House without delay to answer to the charge of contempt of its authority, breach of its privileges, and gross and wanton insult to the integrity of its proceedings.”