Top Medicare official and criminal conpiracy?

There is a widespread pattern of Obama administration officials “losing” emails which they are legally required to maintain records of.  When the emails in question were under subpoena, there is a strong chance that crimes have been committed, although the question of intent must be addressed. Lois Lerner has already invoked her Fifth Amendment protections in the matter of her missing emails. She may soon have company. Jillian Kay Melchior reports in NRO:

News broke last Thursday that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner had probably deleted e-mails related to the glitchy rollout of Healthcare.gov — e-mails that had been subpoenaed by Congress.

CMS has insisted it’s just a benign accident. “In order to stay below the agency’s Microsoft Outlook email size limit, Tavenner would regularly delete emails after copying or forwarding them to her staff for retention,” MSNBC wrote when it broke this story. “However, Tavenner didn’t follow that procedure every time, meaning some emails never made it to her staff for safekeeping before being deleted.”

In other words: Oops, but no biggie — right?

Wrong. Tavenner knows — or at least should know — that deleting correspondence isn’t okay. After all, protecting the integrity of records is a fundamental part of her job.

The charitable interpretation is that Tavenner is indifferent to obligations to the American people and incompetent. But in the atmosphere of Obama administration stonewalling subpoenas relevant to evidence of wrongdoing, suspicions of criminal conspiracy are legitimately in question.

 in the worst-case scenario, Tavenner is participating in a cover-up.

If the latter is the case, she has committed a serious crime; federal law says that anyone who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys” public records can face up to three years in prison.

It is also notable that a pattern has begun to emerge linking this incident to the Internal Revenue Service’s elusive Lois Lerner e-mails: Obama-administration records requested by Congress conveniently go missing, and the agency in question remains silent until Congress finally gets suspicious and forces it to ’fess up and admit that the records are nowhere to be found. In this case, the Department of Health and Human Services did not admit that Tavenner’s e-mails were gone until nearly a year after the House Oversight Committee had requested them.

The IRS’s crashed-computer excuses may stretch credibility. But regardless of Tavenner’s motive, the admission that she regularly deleted e-mails without backing them up constitutes a serious blow to the credibility of the Obama administration.

Melchior is too charitable. There is sufficient evidence to investigate a criminal conspiracy.

There is a widespread pattern of Obama administration officials “losing” emails which they are legally required to maintain records of.  When the emails in question were under subpoena, there is a strong chance that crimes have been committed, although the question of intent must be addressed. Lois Lerner has already invoked her Fifth Amendment protections in the matter of her missing emails. She may soon have company. Jillian Kay Melchior reports in NRO:

News broke last Thursday that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner had probably deleted e-mails related to the glitchy rollout of Healthcare.gov — e-mails that had been subpoenaed by Congress.

CMS has insisted it’s just a benign accident. “In order to stay below the agency’s Microsoft Outlook email size limit, Tavenner would regularly delete emails after copying or forwarding them to her staff for retention,” MSNBC wrote when it broke this story. “However, Tavenner didn’t follow that procedure every time, meaning some emails never made it to her staff for safekeeping before being deleted.”

In other words: Oops, but no biggie — right?

Wrong. Tavenner knows — or at least should know — that deleting correspondence isn’t okay. After all, protecting the integrity of records is a fundamental part of her job.

The charitable interpretation is that Tavenner is indifferent to obligations to the American people and incompetent. But in the atmosphere of Obama administration stonewalling subpoenas relevant to evidence of wrongdoing, suspicions of criminal conspiracy are legitimately in question.

 in the worst-case scenario, Tavenner is participating in a cover-up.

If the latter is the case, she has committed a serious crime; federal law says that anyone who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys” public records can face up to three years in prison.

It is also notable that a pattern has begun to emerge linking this incident to the Internal Revenue Service’s elusive Lois Lerner e-mails: Obama-administration records requested by Congress conveniently go missing, and the agency in question remains silent until Congress finally gets suspicious and forces it to ’fess up and admit that the records are nowhere to be found. In this case, the Department of Health and Human Services did not admit that Tavenner’s e-mails were gone until nearly a year after the House Oversight Committee had requested them.

The IRS’s crashed-computer excuses may stretch credibility. But regardless of Tavenner’s motive, the admission that she regularly deleted e-mails without backing them up constitutes a serious blow to the credibility of the Obama administration.

Melchior is too charitable. There is sufficient evidence to investigate a criminal conspiracy.

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