The Conversation

Judicial Watch: The IRS Cover-Up Continues

On July 10, as part of a freedom of information lawsuit by Judicial Watch, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the IRS one month to explain in writing and under oath how it lost so many emails to and from Lois Lerner, a central figure in the IRS targeting scandal.

During the interim, House Ways and Means Committee investigators learned from interviews that Lerner's hard drive was “scratched,” but data was recoverable. 

The month has come and gone, and we are no closer to understanding how the IRS lost the emails or how the hard drive was physically damaged.

The agency submitted five sworn declarations from IRS officials in an attempt to explain the missing emails.

Via Fox News:

In the declarations, agency technology officials insisted they did everything they could to fix and recover data from the hard drive of Lerner, who is a central figure in the investigation into the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. However, they said their efforts were fruitless, and some of Lerner's emails were lost.

A pair of IRS technicians said under oath that they tried unsuccessfully to recover data from former agency official Lois Lerner’s hard drive, according to new court documents released Monday.

The two technicians who said they personally worked on Lerner's hard drive, also declared that they didn't see any signs of  external physical damage on the hard drive.

Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton said in a statement Monday that the agency’s explanations were unsatisfactory.
"These sworn declarations delivered to the court today were to discuss what happened to Lois Lerner's 'lost' emails and any other computer records reportedly lost by the IRS. This latest IRS filing seems to treat as a joke Judge Sullivan's order requiring the IRS to produce details about Lois Lerner's "lost" emails and any efforts to retrieve and produce them to Judicial Watch as required under law. Frankly, it seems the cover-up continues."

Judicial Watch has been authorized by Judge Sullivan to submit a request for limited discovery into the missing IRS records after September 10.

On Fox News Business, Tuesday,  Stuart Varney and Liz MacDonald discussed what the next move should in the investigation. 

"The emails were sent out" before they were destroyed, Varney pointed out. "They're on somebody else's server or hard drive." 

MacDonald said, "You ask for the Department of Justice hard drives, the Federal Election Commission hard drives..."

"Well hasn't the judge asked for that?" asked Varney.

"That's the question, MacDonald answered. She noted that the "idea has been out there" among Republicans in congress to "subpoena these agencies to fork over their hard drives. That's where the push - you would think - would be."

Chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee Darrell Issa showed reluctance back in June to engage in what he worried some might perceive a "fishing expedition."

During an appearnce on the Greta Van Susteren Show, he said, "to try to subpoena all the various people who might possibly have received emails related to the scandal would be a "fishing expedition."

His Democratic predecessor Henry Waxman engaged in such tactics because "he just generally had an idea," Issa said, but added, "We would like to be pragmatic and positive and reasonable."


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