IRS cover-up revelation #1 today
See also: IRS cover-up revelation #2 today
The IRS is behaving as if it is desperately trying to cover–up serious crimes. Despite assurances that Lois Lerner’s emails are unavailable thanks to a hard drive crash and subsequent “recycling” (by the way, what exactly does that mean?), an IRS official revealed to Judicial Watch that backup copies probably do exist, but that the agency thinks it is too much trouble to go and get them.
Doug McElway of Fox News reports:
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the news came during a Friday phone call with Department of Justice attorneys representing the IRS in Judicial Watch's FOIA lawsuit against the IRS.
Fitton said DOJ attorneys told him the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure the continuity of government in [e]vent of a catastrophe. They told him that retrieving the emails from Lerner, a former IRS official, would be "too onerous" - a legal burden that can exempt an agency from complying with FOIA requests.
However, an administration official told Fox News Monday night, “ There was no new back-up system described last week to Judicial Watch. Government lawyers who spoke to Judicial Watch simply referred to the same email retention policy that Commissioner (John) Koskinen had described in his Congressional testimony.”
Earlier, in describing the phone conversation, Fitton told Fox News,"So everything we've been hearing about scratched hard drives about missing emails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it's all been a pack of malarkey.
"They could get these records but they don't want to, and they haven’t told anyone about it until we were able to get it out of them on Friday."
The rest of the media are studiously ignoring this story in order to spend time and space on fashions worn at the Emmys last night, what was said at the funeral of Mike Brown, and other matters of grave import.
“Too onerous” is a great excuse. I wonder if the IRS accepts it when demanding records from taxpayers?
Then there is the little matter of sworn testimony that contradicts this revelation:
Administration and IRS officials have repeatedly said Lerner's lost emails no longer exist. In congressional testimony on July 20, IRS Commissioner Koskinen said, "The actual hard drive after it was determined that it was dysfunctional... was recycled and destroyed in the normal process."
In previous sworn declarations, attorneys for the IRS have made no mention of back-up computers where Lerner’s emails could exist.
There is just enough time for this scandal to explode and affect the 2016 elections. Almost certainly, Barack Obama will pardon Lois Lerner and other implicated IRS officials on the lst day of his term in office. But this scandal, which dwarfs Watergate in serousness, will not go away.