IRS experts: Lois Lerner's hard drive only 'scratched' and data mostly recoverable

The behavior of the IRS is looking more and more like a cover-up. Byron York reports in The Examiner:

Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner's hard drive -- the one containing emails that could shed light on the IRS targeting scandal -- was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed completely in 2011. But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner's computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just "scratched," and that most of the data on it was recoverable.

The IRS computer experts also told the committee that they had recommended seeking outside help in recovering the data from Lerner's computer — something IRS management declined to do.

It gets worse:

In addition, the committee says it has come across evidence that, at least for some period of time, Lerner's computer was listed as "recovered" in an internal IRS IT tracking document. The committee says IRS experts were not able to say whether "recovered" meant that the hard drive had actually been saved or whether it had met some other fate.  In any event, committee aides say they have consulted with "former federal law enforcement and Department of Defense forensic experts" about the matter, and their conclusion is that the majority of information on the drive could have been saved.

At what point does this become criminal? Perhaps the past tense is more appropriate.

The behavior of the IRS is looking more and more like a cover-up. Byron York reports in The Examiner:

Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner's hard drive -- the one containing emails that could shed light on the IRS targeting scandal -- was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed completely in 2011. But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner's computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just "scratched," and that most of the data on it was recoverable.

The IRS computer experts also told the committee that they had recommended seeking outside help in recovering the data from Lerner's computer — something IRS management declined to do.

It gets worse:

In addition, the committee says it has come across evidence that, at least for some period of time, Lerner's computer was listed as "recovered" in an internal IRS IT tracking document. The committee says IRS experts were not able to say whether "recovered" meant that the hard drive had actually been saved or whether it had met some other fate.  In any event, committee aides say they have consulted with "former federal law enforcement and Department of Defense forensic experts" about the matter, and their conclusion is that the majority of information on the drive could have been saved.

At what point does this become criminal? Perhaps the past tense is more appropriate.