Lawyer: “It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.”
The attorney for Lois Lerner is speaking out, saying that his client doesn’t have any records of the emails that were lost in a hard drive crash in 2011.
Lois Lerner has no records of two years of missing emails and Republican claims that she’s hiding something are “silly,” her lawyer said in his first interview since the controversy around the former IRS official erupted two weeks ago.
“She doesn’t know what happened,” lawyer William Taylor III said of the 2011 computer crash that erased two years worth of Lerner’s correspondence. “It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.”
Taylor indicated that Lerner “requested that IT use every possible resource” to try and recover the contents of her hard drive.
Regardless of the misfortune of Lerner’s unrecoverable hard drive, many have asked if the emails were printed in hard copy anywhere as a backup. IRS rules specify in part that agency emails “created or received in the transaction of agency business” are to be printed and kept on file. IRS commissioner John Koskinen has said that not all emails are necessarily considered an “official record.”
Lerner’s attorney said she didn’t print the emails because she “did not think it was required,” according to Politico. Further, Taylor pushed that responsibility onto other staff.
“If somebody is supposed to keep archived copies, that’s the IT department’s or her staff’s responsibility,” he said. “If she didn’t [print] something, it wasn’t because she tried to conceal anything. … There should have been [IRS] backup.”
Taylor maintains that with respect to the targeting of conservative organizations, Lerner was just doing her job.
“After Citizens United, groups identifying themselves with the tea party and other, more conservative causes dramatically increased the number of applications for (c)(4) status,” he said, referring to the landmark Supreme Court ruling that significantly loosened restrictions on political spending.
He said it was simply the job of Lerner and the IRS to ensure such tax-exempt organizations follow the law, which bars them from using more than about half of their resources engaging in politics.
For Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp “to say the IRS is looking at political activity is like [Captain Renault] saying he’s shocked there’s gambling going on in ‘Casablanca,’” he said.
When POLITICO asked Taylor if Lerner was able to give an example where she expressed concern over a liberal group or lawmaker, he did not offer one.
Read the full interview at Politico.DONATE
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