Never take a liar at his (or her) word. It’s been five months since the IRS said they couldn’t recover Lois Lerner’s emails from her hard drive, and that other backup systems probably wouldn’t turn up anything either. Just weeks ago, Judicial Watch discovered that the IRS hadn’t actually tried to recover those backups.
Now, the Treasury Department’s inspector general of tax administration has finally done what the IRS refused to—actually look at the disaster recovery backup tapes. And surprise, surprise! They recovered data that could include thirty thousand emails to and from Lois Lerner between 2009 and 2011.
We knew they weren’t gone forever.
Many conservative organizations had their applications for tax-exempt status subjected to long delays and ridiculous requests for detailed information. Many have fought back in court, and some just saw their cases gutted by a federal judge. They’ve been waiting far too long for justice in this case, and the IRS has only added insult to injury with yet more delays, sidestepping, and outright lies.
“These people have filed things under oath with the judicial branch of government—in our lawsuit and other lawsuits,” Cleta Mitchell, attorney for True the Vote, told Newsmax. “They have provided statements to Congress. They’re totally dishonest.”
The inspector general is working on converting the data into readable emails. No less than three House committees—the Senate Finance and Oversight Committees and the House Ways and Means Committee—are anxiously awaiting whatever those emails might hold.
As Darrell Issa told the Washington Examiner:
Though it is unclear whether [the inspector general] has found all of the missing Lois Lerner e-mails, there may be significant information in this discovery. The Oversight Committee will be looking for information about her mindset and who she was communicating with outside the IRS during a critical period of time when the IRS was targeting conservative groups.
This discovery also underscores the lack of cooperation Congress has received from the IRS. The agency first failed to disclose the loss to Congress and then tried to declare Lerner’s e-mails gone and lost forever.
Once again, it appears the IRS hasn’t been straight with Congress and the American people.
The inspector general will release an official report on the discovery soon, but the initial report attributes the “lost” email mix-up to bad management, according to Politico.
Maybe that’s true, if they mean intentional bad management.
This newfound data proves what we’ve suspected all along: the IRS deliberately deceived Congress and the American people about whether the emails could be discovered. Frankly, we shouldn’t be surprised—but we ought to expect more. And we can’t give up until the whole truth comes out. As Cleta Mitchell told Newsmax, “Now, what I would like to see them do is for the IRS to actually respond to all the subpoenas that have been issued to them by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the last year and a half. That would be the best thing they could do: just go ahead and answer all the subpoenas and do what you’re supposed to do.”
Clearly, the IRS refuses to do what every rational person knows it’s supposed to do—it won’t even do what it’s court-ordered to do. It’s taken the involvement of multiple outside agencies and committees even to get this much progress.
But the pressure is building on this corrupt, “mismanaged” federal agency. And newly elected Congress has been very vocal about its intention to ramp up investigations of the scandal.
The administration is probably already preparing its defenses…but there’s only so long you can deny the facts.
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