IRS

The IRS Says It Lost a Bunch of Lois Lerner's Emails. That Deserves More Scrutiny

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C-SPAN

On the surface, it doesn't seem very plausible that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) managed to lose emails to and from Lois Lerner, who is at the center of the House Ways and Means Committee's investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

But that's the explanation the IRS is going with: Despite the fact that the investigation has been going on for a year, and despite Lerner's prominence in the story, the IRS, which has previously promised to comply with the committee's documents request, claimed last week that it cannot produce an untold emails between Lerner and outside agencies like the White House that were sent before 2011, arguably the most important time period to the investigation, because of a computer crash.

The loss of a personal computer hard drive shouldn't be able to permanently eliminate emails from a well-run workplace email system. Those emails are run through central email exchange servers, and backups are typically kept using those central exchanges. Add to that Lerner's prominence in the investigation—she has repeatedly declined to answer questions before Congress, invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate—and the year it took for the IRS to inform the House Ways and Means Committee that the emails were lost in a crash, and the dog-ate-my-emails bit starts to smell rather fishy.

But accidents do happen, and I've had tech-savvy, right-of-center federal agency staff tell me that federal IT management is so shoddy and haphazard that it's at least possible that the excuse is completely legit. Email systems break, or have odd glitches that result in personal email backups being stored on individual hard drives, even when they shouldn't. In that situation, it's conceivable that if there's a crash, that's it—the emails and other information really could be gone.

And let's not forget that if there's one thing that we've learned in the last few years, it's that the federal government is not particularly good at IT management.

So although the excuse seems more than a little bit dubious, I'm willing to give the IRS the benefit of the doubt—but only tentatively. It's possible that the emails really were lost in the world's most convenient computer glitch, but possible is not the same as certain.

If a tax filer made a similarly convenient excuse to the IRS regarding lost documentation, the agency would probably want to dig in a bit. That's why I think this is the sort of thing that deserves additional questioning, and a more thorough investigation. It's only fair.

Where to begin? Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has put together a useful list of the sort of questions that ought to be asked. Here's a sample: 

  • Please provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix. This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.
  • Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS' disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.
  • Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why….
  • Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated.
  • Please provide any documents reflecting an investigation into how the crash resulted in the irretrievable loss of federal data and what factors were found to be responsible for the existence of this situation.

The computer-crash excuse from the IRS seems potentially outrageous, but it also seems like the sort of excuse that the IRS would want to avoid if they were hoping to avoid additional scrutiny; after all this sort of convenient tech trouble was bound to raise additional questions. It's not possible to say what happened to those emails, at least not yet, but now that those questions have been raised, they should be answered.

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  1. No cocktail partaaayz for you, McSuderman! Megan is gonna be pissed!

  2. boooooolshit

    1. It’s BOOOSHH’s fault because he wouldn’t allocate money to upgrade their systems!

  3. If I understand the federal IT guys correctly, we’re one good power surge away from shutting down pretty much every agency in the alphabet soup. Interesting.

    1. So, could I have one “good power surge”, STAT!

      Thanks!

      1. *Runs out and begins rain and lightning dance near federal building*

        1. You were just looking for an excuse to put on a grass skirt, huh?

          1. Excuse?

            Who needs that!

            *adjusts skirt, returns to dance*

  4. I’m sorry. Even if they are telling the truth there needs to be criminal penalties against IRS employees for this.

    If a private corporation under investigation pulled this stunt their IT staff would be looking at jail time for obstruction of justice because no court in the country would believe them and incompetence would not excuse them from their legal obligation to retain all information relevant to the investigation.

    Further since this is a government agency we are talking about and only abject stupidity could allow this to happen it is defacto evidence of criminal negligence on the part of the responsible IT staff.

    1. They are clearly lying, and they know that everyone knows they are lying. They just don’t care because they also know that they will not be held accountable.

      1. When the most charitable interpretation is “We’re too incompetent to do our jobs,” there’s a serious problem.

    2. Unfortunately the courts are also the government and they are all one big happy power-hoarding family. None will ever turn on the other or force accountability. This is unbeleivable naive drivel.

    3. Everyone involved would be fired and tossed from the premises immediately. This is big bad stuff to a private company. They would be begging for mercy while destroying the careers of everyone involved.

    4. Yup. They’d jail us for it. Jail them for it. Brand their backs with “I AM AN IRS BUREAUCRAT.” Let nature take its course.

  5. I’ve totally, utterly given up. Lawlessness now rules among the lawmakers and law enforcers. It’s too far gone to be fixed. Fuck you, that’s why.

    Drinks all around! Let’s listen to the band play while the USS Titanic Fuck Up sinks!

    1. I’m in. May as well have some fun while waiting for the inevitable.

  6. I’m willing to give the IRS the benefit of the doubt?but only tentatively

    Why? Because the IRS has in the past consistently and routinely demonstrated that it can be trusted with unaccountable power? Would you give the same benefit of the doubt to the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA, and why? Just because they are government agencies that never stall when subpoened for documents that might expose abuses of power and force someone – anyone – be held *gasp and pearl-clutch* accountable?

    1. And the IRS is so understanding and forgiving when we lose information.

    2. not only was Suderman born just yesterday, he apparently fell off the turnip truck and woke up in a new pond this morning.

    3. I’m willing to give the IRS the benefit of the doubt

      Which I guess means that everyone involved should be fired, rather than jailed.

      1. Fired, out of a cannon, into the Sun.
        -T. Leela

    4. “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”

  7. FAKE RACISMZ SKANULZ!!111!1!!!!1

    1. Needs more BUSHPIGS!!111!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!

      1. needs more peanuts

    2. Bad things happened during Republican presidencies, too, you know. [/Buttplug]

      Why should anyone hold the IRS accountable? Just grab your ankles. [/Alice]

      But if the IRS is distracted from its core mission, the government won’t have any money, and adorable orphans with big, sad eyes will starve. [/Tony]

      1. You beat PBP to the punch by two minutes!

      2. The trifecta of derp.

        Well done!

  8. If a private corporation under investigation pulled this stunt their IT staff would be looking at jail time for obstruction of justice because no court in the country would believe them and incompetence would not excuse them from their legal obligation to retain all information relevant to the investigation.

    Oh, piffle. When the government tells you something, you can believe it.
    Especially if you really really really want to.

    1. If a private corporation under investigation pulled this stunt their IT staff would be looking at jail time for obstruction of justice…

      From the point that they’ve been notified, but if internal policies call for the destruction of messages or message backups, say, on a daily basis, and they destroyed the messages prior to notification as part of the regular routine, I believe they would be in the clear.

  9. Where’s my fucking hat-tip?

    1. You have to e-mail them and leave your H&R board name.

      1. ^^^ e-mail the article you want covered

        1. I got a hat tip just the other day while doing neither. 110 Lean wuz robbed.

          1. A real hat tip, or somebody messed up a link?

            1. Real hit tip. But just the tip… Ed was a perfect gentleman.

              1. Lots of jealousy in that thread. Can’t people just be happy for you?

                1. They poison their souls along with their flesh.

              2. This was – indeed – the money comment:

                R C Dean|6.9.14 @ 4:43PM|#
                When I saw this:

                a hidden camera at a glory hole in his home

                I knew this was coming, err, on its way:

                h/t SugarFree

                HAHA!

          2. Depends on the writer. some of them regularly read the comments; some don’t.

    2. Congratulations on being the only person to discover this minor story on both AP and CBS.

    3. Sorry, a hard drive failure has caused reason to lose all of it’s hat tip files.

  10. From the Sheryl Attkisson link:

    House and Ways Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) says that along with providing news of the emails that have been lost, the IRS suggested in the same letter to Congress that it end its investigation.

    1. “Well then, we lost the evidence you were looking for, there’s really nothing to be done about it, might as well just end your investigation. K thanx bye!”

      1. Un-fucking-believable. Time to write up some new Civil Service legislation that allows for termination of these assholes instantly, without pension, lawsuits, anything.

        1. and seize 2 years back pay for the job they never did.

  11. If this were a business under scrutiny, the absence of those e-mails would very likely be construed against IRS, Inc. I’m beginning to think we’re going to see criminal prosecutions over this scandal–which is a huge one–in the medium term.

  12. When the Bushpigs “lost” 22 million White House emails in the US Attorney cover-up – NOT A SCANDAL.

    When the IRS loses only internal department emails during the Obama administration – SCANDAL!

    1. Tu quoque.

      1. I’m fine prosecuting everyone for everything. They can dig up dead presidents and try them. I fucking don’t care what party they’re in.

        1. Dig up every president since Coolidge, execute them posthumously for treason, put them back in.

          I don’t think it’d do much, but it would feel pretty good.

        2. Hell, the Catholics have done it.

    2. Thanks for proving me right.

      1. FAKE PEANUTS!!1

      2. I guess shreek didn’t show up until now because he was waiting for his talking points.

        1. Yes. And the talking points are so weak only shreek would post them. Notice Tony didn’t show up, even though he rarely misses a chance to defend the light worker.

          Just forget that Bush had the right to fire any US attorney he wanted to and the DOJ has the right to hire whatever attorney they like and of course Democrats have been hiring based on politics for decades. It was a real scandal right on par with the DOJ and IRS conspiring to suppress political speech of their opponents.

    3. Right on cue!

      BUSHPIGS!!111!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!

    4. Re: Peter Caca,

      When the Bushpigs “lost” 22 million White House emails in the US Attorney cover-up – NOT A SCANDAL.

      They were later found. And it was a scandal, when the Obama administration couldn’t find them first. The media was outraged. The pitchforks were out. Later it wasn’t a scandal because they found them. The bonfire was thus put out and the grand inquisitors returned to their regularly-scheduled agitprop.

      When the IRS loses only internal department emails during the Obama administration

      You need to learn how to read and soon, Caca. Those e-mails that supposedly went to electronic heaven were specifically those that Lerner received from the outside, not the internal e-mails. And it is not like the allegation is that they were trashcanned like the ones you mentioned first. The IRS claims that a “computer glitch” obliterated the information. That is a scandal. The very people that can destroy your life because of an innocent mistake, now alleges that the dog ate their hard drive.

      1. “The very people that can destroy your life because of an innocent mistake, now alleges that the dog ate their hard drive.”

        That quote is *so* quotable and rip-off-able.

  13. Sharyl Attkisson is one of the few reporters left who takes seriously the mantra “comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” It’s no wonder CBS fired her.

  14. Is Sudderman trolling here? What possible reason is there to give the IRS the benefit of the doubt? Emails do not get lost in this day and age. There are too many backup systems and even if they fail, short of pounding the hard drive with a hammer, you can recover about anything if you want to.

    Further, any time there is an IG or Congressional investigation into something, the agency will put out a preserve order. All of those emails were no doubt copied and preserved when this whole thing started. There is no way they were lost. They were either intentionally destroyed or the IRS has them and is lying.

    So, the question is why would the IRS go to such lengths? They could have claimed executive privilege and redacted the hell out of them. They could have just refused to turn them over and told Congress too bad. Why do this? The only answer I can see is that those emails contained the smoking gun that linked this operation to the White House and the IRS is willing to suffer any embarrassment or hardship to keep them from getting out. I don’t see any other possible explanation.

    1. I think he’s doing it rhetorically: “Surely, if this was an accident, you can show us evidence of that? Or did that get deleted too?”

      1. Perhaps so. Maybe I just missed the sarcasm. But there is no way these were accidentally lost. They either have them and are lying or intentionally destroyed them.

    2. The only answer I can see is that those emails contained the smoking gun that linked this operation to the White House

      Pretty good bet. I don’t see them going to such obvious lengths to protect anyone other than the lightworker himself.

  15. So, where’s John to tell us that Reason is just a bunch of leftists pretending to be libertarians for a paycheck?

    1. The call is coming from inside the house.

      1. Have you checked the emails?

        1. They were lost in a computer crash. Duh.

          1. I guess the better joke would have been…

            Have you checked the children…’s emails?

    2. I am not sure Sudderman saying he gives the benefit of the doubt to the IRS on this proves your point very well.

      When exactly did Libertarians start giving government bureaucracies the benefit of the doubt?

      1. Misguided optimism, perhaps? It is often on display here.

        1. Funny, though, that this ‘mis-guided optimism’ is directed at one of the worst government agencies when it comes to the concept of liberty.

      2. When exactly did Libertarians start giving government bureaucracies the benefit of the doubt?

        One did therefore all do. That’s some mighty fine logic for a lawyer.

        1. Try reading more closely the next time. The point of the sentence is to say libertarians don’t and therefore it is odd that Sudderman would. The sentence means exactly the opposite of what you think it means.

  16. the IRS suggested in the same letter to Congress that it end its investigation.

    “Look what you made us do. Why don’t you just go away and stop bothering us? We have taxpayers to intimidate and shake down. Let us do our job!”

  17. “Where to begin? Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has put together a useful list of the sort of questions that ought to be asked. Here’s a sample: …”

    Six months from now: “I’m sorry Mr. Congressman {stiffles giggle}, but the server responsible for documenting our crash investigation has, unfortunately crashed. So we are unable to answer any further questions regarding the loss of Louis Lerner’s email.”

  18. But this can’t be. Congress passed a law mandating all government email be kept for years, so there is a record of wrongdoing. They can’t just lose incriminating email. I mean, there’s a law and stuff. Good thing the federal government didn’t spend billions devising ways to collect and store all that information.

    1. That is just it, they did and from my experience at least didn’t do a bad job of it. There is no way those emails are gone unless someone with unlimited access to the system went in and deleted them. And even then I am not convinced they wouldn’t still be somewhere.

      Emails go to someone you know? If I send you an email, it is not just my email it is your email. So even if you destroy my emails, they live on in your in box.

      This is just astonishing even for Obama.

      1. This is just astonishing even for Obama.

        It’s not astonishing. That’s what makes it worse. We’ve seen example after example of brazen lawbreaking from these fuckwits. I keep reminding my proggy friends that Team Red is taking careful notes…

        1. Except that Team Blue has the Department of News and Information firmly under control, and can direct all its energy on Team Red when the time comes.

          1. True, but all that means is that the stupid lefties will break out the picket signs and giant puppets.

            Until someone does some hard time in a Federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison, the level of lawlessness will continue to ramp up.

            1. I agree, Tundra.

      2. So even if you destroy my emails, they live on in your in box.

        Ding.

        Ding.

        Ding.

        These are only supposed to be internal emails that were lost, right? That means there is an IRS employee on the other end of every one of them. Lois’s computer crashing didn’t wipe anyone else’s hard drive.

        Even if the IRS story is completely true, they still have a copy of every single one of these emails. Worst case: they are distributed over lots of other people’s hard drives.

        Still, the notion that the IRS doesn’t back up its email servers is laughable. I mean, its possible, but backing up email servers is so fundamental that I doubt any minimally competent network administrator wouldn’t have noticed it wasn’t happening, raised a huge red flag, and fixed it.

        Even if it wasn’t required by law.

        1. They wouldn’t even be distributed on hard drives. The government has servers and automatically archives all of the emails. So those emails will be in those archives.

          Question, to the IT people who post on here, how hard would it be to run a term search for “Lois Lerner” in the IRS internal email archive so that you could bring up her emails from other people’s inboxes?

          1. Depending on how it’s stored, and how hard you’re willing to look and sift through stuff.

            TBH, it shouldn’t be hard at all under any reasonable system.

            Unless someone actually went and erased all the relevant bits. Which would probably be easy to do and hard to detect if done by the right person (think Snowden), and it could have been done right as the scandal was breaking.

            1. If that happened, it would be easy to see it was done. I mean, it would be pretty obvious when everyone’s email but Lerner’s was there. I guess you could destroy the entire thing, but that would be a very big deal and someone would notice. See my post below on government record keeping and archiving. Everything gets archived automatically.

            2. Which would probably be easy to do and hard to detect if done by the right person

              Easy to detect. Running down and eliminating all traces of a sysadmin level intervention in an archive is not easy. Every trace you eliminate creates another audit trail, for one thing.

              Plus, unless you are overwriting the hard drives (another thing that leaves audit trails), there will be traces left that a forensic audit can get.

              Who here believes that the NSA doesn’t already have all these emails tied up with a nice pink bow, anyway?

          2. John,
            It won’t matter; when they ‘can’t find them’, she’ll just say the dog ate them.

        2. i came here to say this. Thanks RC, check’s in the mail.

        3. But what wouldn’t be saved would be emails from someone else to Lerner, as long as she didn’t reply.

          1. They would be in their “sent” file.

          2. Those would be in someone else’s sent items.

            1. Exactly. Who is Congress going to subpoena to get those? Everybody? I mean, I’m fine with it, but I doubt it will fly.

              1. Any competent network administrator (I know, making a big assumption) can run a search on networked computers.

      3. “This is just astonishing even for Obama.”

        No, it isn’t. It is exactly what we should expect from a gang of criminals.

        “Obama is so slick he makes an eel look like sandpaper” – T. Sowell.

        “Obama is so crooked when he dies we can just screw him into the ground” – My Neighbor

  19. Most transparent administration evah!

  20. where are my receipts for the business expenses I deducted on my tax return? you should have them. I emailed them all to Lois Lerner.

  21. The loss of a personal computer hard drive shouldn’t be able to permanently eliminate emails from a well-run workplace email system.

    If they are using something like Microsoft Exchange, yes, that’s correct. The emails are in the information store on the server until they are deleted, or moved to a different store (such as a pst file located on the workstation’s hard drive). However, allowing a situation where messages could be moved would mean a very poorly designed system for an agency subject to legal discovery.

    1. allowing a situation where messages could be moved would mean a very poorly designed system for an agency subject to legal discovery

      Feature, not a bug?

    2. I am pretty sure the entire federal government uses Microsoft Exchange. And emails are all archived on a server. Emails are subject to FOIA and also subject to the laws regarding records retention. 44 USC chapter 31 requires all federal agencies to archive their records and eventually transfer them to the National Archives. Official government emails do not live on anyone’s hard drive. They are as a matter of practice archived and stored on servers.

      1. If this is the case and if the messages are archived immediately then there is no way they could have been lost without a poorly designed and/or maintained archiving system. It is possible that the archiving system was failing and no one noticed right away and messages were lost.

        I’m very curious about the technical specifics of this.

        1. It is possible that it was failing. But a lot more than just Lerner’s emails would have been lost. The IRS failing to archive and retain records would be a huge deal. It would potentially put court actions brought by the agency in jeopardy. You can’t respond to discovery if you don’t archive.

          If the IRS’s archive system had gone south, I think we would have heard about it before now.

      2. That’s all very nice, John, but it doesn’t matter.

        No one will be held accountable. This will drag on until Team Blue retakes the HoR, or it just loses interest of the public, or until some pol wants something soemthing something and agrees to torpedo it for a favorable regulatory ruling that will enrich him or someone in his family, upon which it wil be dropped.

        Short of someone within the organization collecting and subsequenly releasing all the emails, there is no way a government agency will willfully call into question its own practices, not to mention its very existence, by cooperating fully with this investigation.

        1. That is the idea. The media is doing everything it can not to cover it. I still think they will eventually see the light of day. But it will probably be 2017 and they will be as bad as we think they are but since it will be about a past administration, the story will warrant a mention on the bottom fold of the federal page in the Washington Post.

      3. I am pretty sure the entire federal government uses Microsoft Exchange

        We use gmail. Switched a couple years ago. I still have decades worth of emails on my (backed-up) personal drive on server as well as the regular backups.

    3. I am guessing this ‘lost email’ bullshit was cooked up by people who don’t understand how email systems work, i.e. Lerner “I take the 5th” and her lawyers.

      1. Or Wiener “Someone hacked my twitter account!!”

  22. That’s all bullshit. Increase the pressure and widen the cracks.

    1. The obvious next step is to prosecute everyone involved, starting at the bottom of the food chain, until someone breaks. And someone very likely will when facing prison time.

      1. This. Just cut the crap and start holding folks in contempt and charge them with obstruction of justice. Start with Lerner, since you can’t take the fifth under congressional testimony.

        1. Well, you can, but not after making a self-serving statement that you did nothing wrong.

          The Fifth is an all or nothing deal. Either STFU and plead the Fifth, or run your yap and lose the Fifth. She ran her yap.

          1. ^^This^^

  23. Oh yeah, I forgot, the government isn’t subject to the rules of Sarbanes-Oxley.

    1. I am sure that was just a procedual oversight…

  24. My guess is that these emails still exist and will be found. There is no doubt they exist on some IRS server archived somewhere.

    In March of this year, John Koskinen, the new IRS commissioner, testified before Congress that all the e-mails of IRS employees are “stored in servers.” The agency’s own manual specifies that it “provides for backup and recovery of records to protect against information loss or corruption.” The reason is simple. It is well known in legal and IT circles that failure to preserve e-mails can lead to a court ruling of “spoliation of evidence.” That means a judge or jury is then instructed to treat deletions as if they were deliberate destruction of incriminating evidence.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-john-fund

    Could they be erased from the servers? Sure. But to do that you would have to get an IT person who had both access to the system and the technical ability to do so. I don’t think they could get an IT person to do that. The person who would do that is a dedicated political hack fanatic who thinks the cause will take care of them no matter what. And I can’t see the IT contractors ever seeing things that way. So the people who would do it don’t have the technical know how and the people who have the know how are very unlikely to be the kind of fanatic who would do it.

    1. The person who would do that is a dedicated political hack fanatic who thinks the cause will take care of them no matter what. And I can’t see the IT contractors ever seeing things that way

      Maybe they could be made to see that way. You know – like an offer you can’t refuse.

      1. Doubtful. If you are the IT guy that does it, you are always going to be expendable. If it gets out this happened, they will just blame you for doing it and throw you in prison as a sap to the Republicans. You could claim someone told you to do it all you like, but criminals like these people wouldn’t leave any proof. You would be left holding the bag heading to super max to share lunch with the Blind Shek. There is no offer you wouldn’t refuse in those circumstances.

    2. Lerner, like so many other high-serving officials, probably didn’t like using the IRS email, so she probably did all of her professional communications on gmail or hotmail.

      The IT guys fought this for years, but their manager just kept saying, “Make Lois happy”

      Lois was placed into a special AD group allowing full internet access so she wasn’t under the same strictures of the rest of the IRS employees.

      *wakes up from nightmare about current job*

      Oh whew, I know nothing like this would ever happen at the IRS.

      1. My wife works in medical research. She doesn’t do the research but is the chief of staff to the Dean who manages it. She is constantly battling with prima donna researchers who feel put out by being expected to use university IT systems and store their data in a system that has proper security. “No, I want to keep my data (which contains all kinds of privacy information and proprietary information) on my own system and use my own email account” is a common refrain. It drives her nuts.

        1. And hey! I want to use my iDevices on the network because cool, daddy-o!

          1. Not the same thing, and IT people are increasingly cool with that.

            1. Put a security app on your mobile, and you’re good to go.

              Not the same, at all, as demanding a private email facility in violation of policy and, I believe, law.

      2. In which case she broke the law and can go do hard time in federal prison.

  25. you know who else didn’t keep a record of emails?

    1. Genghis Khan?

    2. Oliver North thought he deleted his

  26. Wow, we owe Rose Mary Woods an apology for finding *her* story unbelievable!

  27. Here’s an idea:

    Periodically, every hospital CEO has to sign a sworn statement that their hospital is in compliance with federal law in order to stay in the Medicare program. If it turns out their hospital wasn’t, and the CEO either knew or should have known it wasn’t, they can be held personally responsible.

    I propose that every cabinet secretary have to sign the same sworn statement before their department can receive any funding. In this case, where the IRS is apparently announcing that it violated multiple laws, this would give us a hook to go after Lerner. Personally.

    Can’t hurt.

  28. it would be a hoot if Snowden produced (in the voice of Jay Peterman) the very emails they were seeking .

    1. Might be my best day in years.

      Obviously, the IRS would claim they couldn’t find it because of Snowden.

  29. from one of the linked articles:
    said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the inspector general.”

    This is the part I want to see, immediately. No more memos and questions asking them to elaborate on their story, I want to see the hostile forensic auditors showing up. I wouldn’t trust the DOJ to do it, but maybe the IG might take it seriously. Better yet, a special prosecutor with some outside auditors.

  30. We use Microsoft Exchange. I just had to put a “litigation hold” order on some email accounts. I asked our IT folks how hard it would be for them to pull all the emails to/from a given employee off of our archives.

    They said it would take less than an hour. And I think they were sandbagging me.

  31. The contrast with Nixon is striking.

    He merely asked the IRS to go after some people, and was essentially turned down. This administration actually implemented a campaign of going after dozens of organizations.

    He had an 18 minute gap in an audiotape. This administration has a 2 year gap in emails.

    Nixon was hounded out of office. Obama plays golf.

    1. Can Obama be worse than Nixon? Yes he can!

      Amazing how far we’ve fallen in such a short time.

  32. If I followed the dots correctly, the IRS IT folks say they produced all the emails that went through the IRS email systems.

    The “lost” emails from a laptop failure were most likely transmitted through a third party web service like Hotmail or Thinkprogress.org

    Paging Karl Rove. Please pick up the White Courtesy Phone.

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