Last week, reports surfaced that the infamous Lois Lerner had “lost” several years—yes, you read that correctly, years—of IRS emails between 2009 and 2011. Lerner and her cronies at the IRS claim that a computer crash caused the emails to be deleted. There are multiple problems with this story.
First, the technological component is blatantly false. As John Fund at National Review noted:
Norman Cillo, a former program manager at Microsoft, told The Blaze: “I don’t know of any e-mail administrator [who] doesn’t have at least three ways of getting that mail back. It’s either on the disks or it’s on a TAPE backup someplace on an archive server.” Bruce Webster, an IT expert with 30 years of experience consulting with dozens of private companies, seconds this opinion: “It would take a catastrophic mechanical failure for Lerner’s drive to suffer actual physical damage, but in any case, the FBI should be able to recover something. And the FBI and the Justice Department know it.”
Then there’s the testimony back in March from another IRS employee that all of Lerner’s emails were archived. So who is lying?
In the Washington Times, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Congressman David Camp blasted Lerner and company:
“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to congressional inquiries,” Mr. Camp said. “There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.”
These questions, and many more, need answers. If the IRS really did lose the emails, they could be in serious legal trouble. According to the Blaze:
The IRS’s own internal rules say employees are supposed to keep paper records of most emails they receive. That indicates that Lerner may have violated IRS rules, since presumably the IRS cannot find any paper copies of Lerner’s emails.
But the agency itself may have also broken U.S. law by not taking steps to avoid this situation.
A section of the law titled Records Management by Federal Agencies says the head of every federal agency must take steps to preserve pertinent records. And it specifically says the leader of an agency must “establish safeguards against the removal or loss of records he determines to be necessary.”
It is time for the IRS and Lerner to come clean over the emails. If security measures were not taken, appropriate punishments should be meted out. If this is a shameless attempt at stonewalling the investigation, the IRS has lost what little credibility it had left. One has to ask: Is Mr. Nixon, er, Mrs. Lerner, cutting the tapes, I mean emails, again?