The Internal Revenue Service apparently thinks the American people are ready to buy swampland from them. Congressional investigators said Tuesday that the IRS has told them even more emails have reportedly been “lost,” despite virtually every tech expert agreeing that is impossibility.
Last Friday the IRS claimed it had lost an untold number of emails from Lois Lerner’s computer. The lost emails were conveniently confined to external communications with locations like the White House, Treasury and the Department of Justice.
Lerner used to head the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, pleaded the Fifth Amendment twice in subsequent House investigations and now faces contempt of Congress charges.
Two other IRS employees named as having their computers crash were Nikole Flax, who was chief of staff to Lerner's boss and then-deputy commissioner Steven Miller. Later on, Miller became acting IRS commissioner. He was forced to resign last year after it was discovered agents had improperly scrutinized tea party and other conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Ways and Means Committee investigators have interviewed IRS technicians Monday. Amazingly, the technicians said they only realized in February or March that the emails were lost. That was months before they informed congressional investigators.
Two lawmakers, Camp and Boustany, have already called on the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS. Again, amazingly Attorney General Eric Holder has declined to do so in the past. There are more than a few in Washington who are not the least bit surprised by the last few days’ events.
In a statement, Camp and Boustany said, "It looks like the American people were lied to and the IRS tried to cover up the fact it conveniently lost key documents in this investigation. The White House promised full cooperation, the commissioner promised full access to Lois Lerner emails and now the agency claims it cannot produce those materials and they've known for months they couldn't do this."
No immediate reply from the agency, but the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, is scheduled to testify before the Ways and Means Committee next Tuesday. He was subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee to testify at a rare evening hearing on Monday.
At present, two House committees and the Senate Finance Committee are investigating the IRS and their handling tea party applications from 2010 to 2012. The Justice Department, including Barack Obama’s good friend Attorney General Eric Holder, and the IRS inspector general are also “investigating.”
It is no secret that investigators have found IRS officials in Washington were closely involved in the handling of tea party applications. But now Lerner’s emails are supposedly gone forever to any outside sources.
Meanwhile, the crisis in Iraq is keeping the growing tide of anger in Washington over the email information stalled. It is safe to guess that if this was a Republican in the White House,the Obama-friendly media would alreday have created a hell storm over these fantastic IRS "stories" and the “Beaver Cleaver” type of excuse provided. Only Fox News has provided extensive coverage of this troubling new development.
If anyone outside the agency was involved, investigators were hoping for clues in Lerner's emails. Lerner's computer reportedly crashed in the summer of 2011, denying investigators to a multitude of information then.
On Friday, the IRS said technicians “went to great lengths trying to recover data” from Lerner's computer in 2011. Again, no credible IT professional has acknowledged there is no way to retrieve the “lost” emails. Not one. The IRS claims they were able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees.
That supposedly explains why outside emails are “lost.” On Friday, the IRS said more than 250 IRS employees have been working to assist congressional investigations, spending nearly $10 million to produce more than 750,000 documents.
It still looks like the dog ate the emails to anyone in Washington who wants to believe that. The angriest man would be the late Richard Nixon.
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