In June, the IRS announced that a critical two-year segment of Lois Lerner’s emails were lost in a hard drive crash. Conveniently, these emails perfectly corresponded with the time when Tea Party groups were being targeted for extra scrutiny and possible criminal prosecution.
Since the IRS is a government agency, many reasonable people were convinced there had to be other places to look for records. Especially since the IRS expects us to live like hoarders, meticulously keeping every receipt to avoid running afoul of their agency. Now, five months later, the IRS admits that it still hasn’t searched any of its backup systems.
Judicial Watch published last week an update of its pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency:
IRS attorneys conceded that they had failed to search the agency’s servers for missing emails because they decided that “the servers would not result in the recovery of any information.” They admitted they had failed to search the agency’s disaster recovery tapes because they had “no reason to believe that the tapes are a potential source of recovering” the missing emails. And they conceded that they had not searched the government-wide back-up system because they had “no reason to believe such a system…even exists.”
The Obama administration attorneys were questioned about the existence of a catastrophe backup system earlier this year, and responded “that this back-up system would be too onerous to search.”
Imagine the following scenario, between a parent and a child:
“I want to see your Algebra grade.”
“I have no idea what it is.”
“Have you checked your report card?”
“A report card would not result in getting that information. Plus, it would be so much work to pull it out of my backpack. I have no reason to believe a report card even exists.”
Excuses, excuses, and more excuses.
Lois Lerner has been the center of the scandal and subsequent investigation since the news about targeting of conservatives broke into public attention. Until information is found about what she knew, when she knew it, and who she communicated with outside her own organization, investigations seem to be in a holding pattern.
And with each setback, it begins to seem more as if things are going slowly by design. How hard is it to search backup systems in five months — especially under a court order?
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton has called them out on their repeated delays:
The Obama IRS couldn’t care less about the federal court’s orders to provide full information about the ‘missing’ Lois Lerner emails. Instead, the IRS, with the help of a compromised Justice Department, has engaged in a series of transparently evasive distractions. The IRS would have Judicial Watch wait for years before we can ask questions about the cover-up that is going on now. The IRS thinks it can game a federal court, Congress, and the American people. Having delayed accountability for over two years, the Obama administration is prepared to stonewall on the IRS targeting of Obama’s ‘enemies list’ until after the 2016 presidential election.
The bottom line is that the IRS didn’t find the missing e-mails, because they didn’t look.
That means that the American people have to. We have to open our eyes, watch, and remain vigilant towards the government bent towards destruction.