Supposed computer crash to blame
The IRS is unable to produce some of the emails of former agency official Lois Lerner due to a computer crash, according to a statement from the House Ways and Means Committee.
Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.
“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.
“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents. It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”
Last month, the Ways and Means Committee indicated that the IRS had finally agreed to turn over all Lois Lerner emails to the Committee. But according to Friday’s statement, it appears there had not been any mention until now that some of the emails would not be able to be produced because of the supposed computer crash.
Apparently, Lerner tried to have technicians reconstruct her hard drive at the time of the crash, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The IRS said it has done its best to reconstruct the emails of the former executive, Lois Lerner, who retired as the controversy unfolded last year. Its effort, which has included searching email of other senders and recipients, resulted in an additional 24,000 emails that are being provided to lawmakers, the agency said in a summary of its actions.
Ms. Lerner herself unsuccessfully tried to get agency technicians to reconstruct her hard drive at the time it crashed, the IRS said.
Earlier this week, it was reported that other documents obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform showed the IRS sent confidential taxpayer information about nonprofit groups to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections.DONATE
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