IRS 'did not follow the law' With Lerner's Emails, Says Government Archivist

David FerrieroNational ArchivesThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) "did not follow the law" when it failed to report the loss of emails belonging to Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit, and the recycling of her hard drive, rendering recovery impossible. That's according to David Ferriero (pictured), the Archivist of the United States, during questioning by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The loss of Lerner's potentially sensitive emails is just the latest development in the evolving story that has grown from revelations of almost certainly politically motivated scrutiny of small-government and Tea Party groups by the tax agency.

The entire exchange is below:

Walberg: Thank you Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ferriero, just to review a bit in your testimony, you state that when agencies become aware of unauthorized destruction of federal records that they are required to report the incidents to the Archives. At any time in 2011, through last Monday, did the IRS report any loss of records related to Lois Lerner?

Ferriero:  No.

Walberg: Is it fair to say that the IRS broke the Federal Records Act?

Ferriero: They are required, any agency is required to notify us when they realize they have a problem that could be destruction or disposal, unauthorized disposal.

Walberg: But they didn’t do that?

Ferriero: That's right.

Walberg: Did they break the law?

Ferrerio: I'm not a lawyer.

Walberg: But you administer the Federal Records Act.

Ferriero: I do.

Walberg: If they didn't follow it, can we safely assume they broke the law?

Ferriero: They did not follow the law.

Lois LernerCSPANAccording to Fox News polling, 76 percent of Americans think the destruction of the emails was deliberate, while just 12 percent are convinced by the dog-ate-my-homework claim that it was an accident.

Deliberate or not, the IRS, which is so zealous in enforcing the tax code, apparently managed to break the law regarding retention of federal records.

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  • Brett L||

    So, now we just need to identify which specific persons were responsible for following this law and prosecute all of them, right?

  • DJF||

    No, their answer will be to spend more money and hire more people to fix the problem.

  • Drake||

    Yes. Congress could get an IRS IT Org chart and subpoena the responsible people. They go to jail - or wave their "get out of jail free card" - the missing e-mails.

    We'll see if the Republicans have the balls.

  • OldMexican||

    IRS 'did not follow the law' With Lerner's Emails, Says Government Archivist


    In other news: Water is wet, says Aquaman.

  • GILMORE||

    Still = 'Not a smidgen'!

  • John||

    According to Fox News polling, 76 percent of Americans think the destruction of the emails was deliberate,

    So 76% of the country thinks the Obama IRS targeted his opponents and then destroyed the evidence. Maybe that poll is an outlier. Those happen. But if that poll is anything close to accurate, I don't see how that is good for the Democrats. They can scream "fake scandal" and "but the Tea Baggers deserved it" all they want, but if three fourths of the country thinks the Democratic Party is that dishonest it won't work out well for them. It doesn't matter if the country doesn't like the Republicans. They just have to dislike them less than the Democrats for the Democrats to be in trouble.

  • Brett L||

    Were I the Dems, I would start thinking about how the 2020 elections are going to go when the GOP has had four years to put their guys in the right positions at the IRS. And then decide to decimate the IRS.

  • Sevo||

    I dunno.
    Pretty sure the D's are just working on how to blame this on Bush. It's worked so far.

  • Brett L||

    Sure, but that's why I'm not a Democrat. The GOP's inability to actually affect the IRS leadership is why I'm not a Republican.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's just it, though. I've talked to some progressives/Democrats, and they just can't fathom the idea that this could be turned on them. A part of me almost thinks they're psychologically preparing themselves for that eventuality by segregating future events from their own policies.

  • wareagle||

    that's just it - if they admit the obvious, it is tantamount to admitting their ideology is flawed. They'll turn on Obama before that happens.

  • UCrawford||

    I usually just boil it down now to "They're stupid".

  • John||

    They figure since they own the media, even the slightest misstep by a Republican President will be a big deal. So they don't think it can happen to them.

    Our media is a huge part of our problem. You can't have a healthy Republic with a media that only acts as a watchdog when one side is in power and always act as paid operatives for one side.

  • Sevo||

    John|6.25.14 @ 10:20AM|#
    "They figure since they own the media, even the slightest misstep by a Republican President will be a big deal."

    And this will continue to be couched in the passive voice, two column-inches, on Pg.8, under the fold.
    If the media doesn't call it a story, it ain't a story.

  • John||

    The poll would seem to indicate that method is getting less effective than it once was. I know you guys have infinite faith in the media's ability to get the country to deny the truth, but that ability is limited. Sometimes reality bleeds through.

    Look at it this way, the communists owned the entire society in a way Progs have wet dreams about. Yet, people still figured out that communism sucked and all that control didn't make the communists popular.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Were I the Dems, I would start thinking about how the 2020 elections are going to go when the GOP has had four years to put their guys in the right positions at the IRS.

    I think you are misoverestimating the GOP's chances in 2016.

  • sarcasmic||

    if three fourths of the country thinks the Democratic Party is that dishonest it won't work out well for them

    Why not? Do TEAM faithful really care if their TEAM is dishonest? I don't think they do. Most Democrats you ask will say Clinton was impeached for getting a blowjob. Not for lying while under oath. Soon the narrative here will be the IRS is under attack for a hard drive failure. Not for being a partisan attack machine that deliberately destroyed evidence.

  • John||

    Because not everyone is a profoundly retarded sock puppet like Shreek and Tony. That is only about 30% of the vote. The Democrats could start killing people and Tony and Shreek would still vote for them. You can't win with 30% of t he vote. And remember, the other team has their retarded sock puppets too. A swing of five or ten points among the low information middle would be devastating. Look how bad 08 was for the Republicans and John McCain still got 45% of the vote.

  • wareagle||

    there are more retards than you might think and they are hardly confined to Team Blue. The GOP is the same bunch that nominated the likes of McCain, Bush II, Dole, and Romney, not exactly standard-bearers of limited govt. You just need a few retards.

  • John||

    I didn't say the Republicans would do any better. I said this is bad for the Democrats.

  • sarcasmic||

    They don't have to be profoundly retarded. Unless they're political junkies like us, chances are they get their information from those who are profoundly retarded. The end result is the same.

  • John||

    Sure. But if this poll is acurate, 76% of the country knows about it and isn't believing the spin. That is not good for the Democrats.

  • sarcasmic||

    76% of the country knows about it and isn't believing the spin.

    What matters is if they care. If they don't care, then it doesn't matter.

  • John||

    They can never care. That is why the Democrats control the entire Congress and more state governments than ever, right?

    The Democrats are weaker now as a national party than they have maybe ever been. There is more to government than the Presidency. They are unlikely to hold the Senate and control fewer state legislatures and governorships than they ever have. Life is great if you are a Dem retard and live in one of the few stats like California where they are a one party dictatorship. But, they need more than that. And Obama is killing them outside of the few places like California that have gone full retard.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you say so. Most people I talk about couldn't give a shit. They just shrug their shoulders and vote TEAM.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's if they vote at all.

  • John||

    Most people never care sarcasmic. You miss the point. The teams are pretty evenly split. So it doesn't take much of a shift to throw one party completely out. Most people didn't give a shit about Iraq or Katrina. That didn't save the Republicans in 08 did it?

    If what you are saying were true, the Dems would have never lost the House in 08 and would be in no danger of losing the Senate this year. Yet, somehow they are. They are because the country is evenly divided such that even 10% of the low information middle switching sides puts the other party in power.

  • sarcasmic||

    I see your point. We'll see. I'm not as optimistic as you.

  • datcv||

    Dems lost the house in 2010, not 2008. I like to point this out a lot because the Democrats had control of Congress and the Presidency for 2 years and failed to pass any traditional liberal causes except a big pile of shit known as the ACA.

    I especially like to point it out to the Dem-loyalist gays because they could have had gay marriage except the Democrats chose not to bother -- it wasn't worth their time. And then Obama's views "evolved" shortly after the country's opinion went 50%+ in favor. OBAMA IS SO BRAVE!

  • TopherB||

    Also if they will remember or be distracted by the next shiny thing that catches their attention.

  • Almanian!||

    Duh.

    Now, what's gonna happen? Almanian's prediction - nothing.

    Move along...nothing to see here.

    And the slide continues.

  • Sevo||

    "Now, what's gonna happen? Almanian's prediction - nothing."

    Well, maybe not exactly nothing. She might get $1.27 docked off her retirement benefits and Obots like shreek will claim all's been 'fixed'!

  • GroundTruth||

    "My hard drive crashed" should be in the list with "my dog ate it".

    Although hard drives do crash, the data are mostly recoverable (in my fortunate experience). Not taking extraordinary steps to recover the data on what must certainly be so important a drive is beyond credibility. Further, even if the data could not be recovered, it certainly should have been stored for future possible attempts. In short, this story simply does not pass the smell test and "intentional destruction of evidence" seems like a reasonable charge.

  • ||

    Fake scandal! Fake scandal!

  • Matrix||

    +1 Buttplug

    But does need more BOOOOSH!!!

  • robc||

    Was John responsible for "Chocolate Nixon"? Because it seems more accurate day by day.

  • Xeones||

    Chocolate Nixon would be an excellent name for a band.

  • Brett L||

    I think this is just going to guarantee that whichever candidate can most reliably be the "good governance" candidate wins the 2016 GOP primary and then 40 states. Hopefully, it will be Scott Walker and not Jeb Bush (if I have to pick viable GOP members). I don't think a Senator can get through, sorry Rand Paul fans. The Dems can run anyone they want and it shouldn't matter*.

    *The GOP, capable of fucking up the order of a one car parade are the wild card in this scenario.

  • John||

    The Democrats are quickly becoming the party of corruption and incompetence. So the guy who wins in 2016 will be the good governance competence guy.

    That bodes well for a successful governor. I really wish Rand Paul were a governor and not a Senator.

  • robc||

    Aereo lost, Scalia, Thomas and Alito in the dissent.

  • Brett L||

    Continuing the trend of allowing the black letter compliance to be swamped by executive interpretation. Terrible.

  • Vampire||

    "Walberg: If they didn't follow it, can we safely assume they broke the law?

    Ferriero: They did not follow the law"

    Simply put, if bureaucrats or politicians don't follow the law....it's all good. They're above the law, so how can they break it silly?

    When the serfs don't "follow the law" they are subjected to violence, are thrown in jail and might have their property taken from them.

  • ||

    It's for your own good.

  • UCrawford||

    I can respect what Ferriero was doing. They were trying to get someone on the record saying that the administration broke the law, so they'd have a soundbite. Ferriero didn't want to be the guy to give them one and he's not a lawyer, so he told them the truth...they didn't comply with law. Saying they "broke" the law implies intent and he was just there to give testimony about what the law actually said.

  • Griffin3||

    Who makes the rules?
    Some one else.
  • GILMORE||

    Mr President:

    - if it is determined the law was intentionally broken, should people go to jail?

    Thank you

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  • Vampire||

    You act more like a superdouchebag.

  • TimothyZ||

    These allegations are nothing but a conspiracy theory and the conspiracy is nothing to apologize for, and isn't illegal and besides, laws are for the little people and have nothing to do with the conduct of the IRS.

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