Federal Judge Gives IRS One Month To Explain How It Lost Emails

Counsel for the IRS appeared before a federal judge, Thursday morning, to explain why they failed to tell him thousands of IRS emails were lost, and why they filed a demonstrably false status report. 

Today’s civil case was brought by Judicial Watch, the government watchdogs who been pursuing information about IRS targeting of conservative groups since last year. 

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the IRS one month to explain under oath how it lost so many emails to and from Lois Lerner, a central figure in the controversy.

The AP report via Townhall:

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency a month to submit the explanation in writing. Sullivan issued the order Thursday as part of a freedom of information lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.

Judge Sullivan could have taken some additional actions, this morning, including, entering “a very specific order instructing the IRS to produce the e-mails to which Judicial Watch is entitled.”

 He could also order the IRS to provide the hard drives, all other devices, access to the servers, or anything else he can determine from the hearing would facilitate revelation of the e-mails themselves. He can give Judicial Watch discovery powers, enabling the attorneys to question — under oath — everyone who touched those computers.

According to the Hill, “Sullivan cast his ruling as a compromise, and a potential way for Judicial Watch to get answers without the court wading any deeper into the matter.”

He may need to wade more deeply into the matter if the IRS continues to stonewall. And this particular judge is not one to be trifled with. 

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