The Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday that now two federal judges are demanding sworn, written testimony from the IRS stipulating how the tax agency lost two years worth of emails from former employee Lois Lerner. These two demands raise the stakes considerably in the ongoing struggle to find out the full extent of the IRS’s campaign to harass tea party and conservative groups by denying and delaying tax exempt status. As Hot Air points out, things like perjury, obstruction of justice, and contempt are serious matters in a federal court.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has given the IRS a month to give an explanation of how the emails were lost, signed and sworn to by an appropriate official. He has also appointed a magistrate to determine whether they can be obtained from other sources. The demand is in connection with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit being brought against the IRS by Judicial Watch. The tax agency has 60 days to come up with a plan to recover what data it can.
In the meantime U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton has made a similar demand for sworn, written testimony. The demand is in connection with a law suit brought against the IRS by True the Vote, a group that combats against voter fraud. True the Vote is one of the hundreds of groups claiming that they were targeted by the IRS.
Recently a copy of an email sent by Lerner surfaced in which she advised fellow IRS employees to be careful what they put in their own emails least it come under the prying eyes of congressional investigators. This revelation has heighten suspicions that the tax agency is engaged in a cover up of the full extent of the campaign to harass conservative and tea party groups. Lerner herself has pled her Fifth Amendment rights and has refused to testify about her involvement in the matter.