A second federal judge is ordering IRS officials to explain, under oath, how they ended up losing emails and wrecking hard drives connected to allegations that the agency targeted Tea Party non-profit groups for tougher evaluations. Fox News took note of today's order:
U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton told Obama administration lawyers on Friday he wants to see an affidavit explaining what happened with Lerner's hard drive. The IRS claims her computer suffered a crash in 2011 that wiped her email records at the time clean.
But at a hearing examining a lawsuit against the IRS by conservative group True the Vote, Walton said he wants to know what happened to Lerner's hard drive, which allegedly was recycled. He asked for an affidavit from those involved in handling the crashed drive.
The order is another boost for those questioning the agency's claims that many Lerner emails from that time period are not recoverable.
A day earlier, in a separate case brought by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency 30 days to file a declaration by an "appropriate official" to address the computer issues involving Lerner.
Not all of Lerner's e-mails have been lost. Earlier in the week, several media outlets (including Reason) reported that an e-mail from Lerner in April 2013 warned other IRS employees to be careful about what information they were putting in their own e-mails because Congress was searching for information.