IRS admits to court it hasn't searched for missing Lois Lerner e-mails in the obvious places

If there was ever any doubt that the IRS is stonewalling production of the missing Lois Lerner e-mails, recent IRS filings in the Judicial Watch lawsuit in the court of U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan remove all ambiguity.  Even though the IRS has stipulated to Judicial Watch that backup systems exist to preserve all federal government e-mails, it has not bothered to search them, and now admits that to the court.

A press release from Judicial Watch that has received far too little media attention (with the conspicuous exception of Legal Insurrection) explains:

IRS attorneys conceded that they had failed to search the agency’s servers for missing emails because they decided that “the servers would not result in the recovery of any information.” They admitted they had failed to search the agency’s disaster recovery tapes because they had “no reason to believe that the tapes are a potential source of recovering” the missing emails.  And they conceded that they had not searched the government-wide back-up system because they had “no reason to believe such a system … even exists.”

But:

The IRS admitted to Judge Sullivan that the agency failed to “submit declarations about any of the foregoing items because it had no reason to believe that they were sources from which to recover information lost as a result of Lerner’s hard drive failure.” [Emphasis added]  Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS had previously told Judicial Watch that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe.

This sounds like a bad-faith effort – really, contempt of court.  Judge Sullivan cannot be happy about this cavalier failure to exert any effort to comply with an order.  Judicial Watch continues:

The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search.

Has  anyone ever successfully argued to the IRS that it would be too onerous to produce tax records the agency demands, which the taxpayer admits exist?

In the October federal court filing, the IRS does not deny that the government-wide back-up system exists, and acknowledges to the court that 760 other email “servers” have been discovered but had not been searched.  The IRS also refuses to disclose the names of the IRS officials who may have information about the IRS scandal, citing unspecified threats.  The IRS says it pulled documents about the scandal from various employees into a “Congressional database” and that it has only searched this one “database” for missing records.  Incredibly, the IRS has not searched any of the IRS’s regular computer systems for any missing records and admits that it has only searched a “database” that it knows does not contain the missing records being sought by the court, Judicial Watch, and Congress.

The Democrats continue their hardline assertion that there is no scandal here.  But the IRS’s refusal to disclose records that it seems to have access to but refuses to search for argues that there is something really incriminating.

Meanwhile, Lois Lerner continues to collect her six-figure pension.

If there was ever any doubt that the IRS is stonewalling production of the missing Lois Lerner e-mails, recent IRS filings in the Judicial Watch lawsuit in the court of U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan remove all ambiguity.  Even though the IRS has stipulated to Judicial Watch that backup systems exist to preserve all federal government e-mails, it has not bothered to search them, and now admits that to the court.

A press release from Judicial Watch that has received far too little media attention (with the conspicuous exception of Legal Insurrection) explains:

IRS attorneys conceded that they had failed to search the agency’s servers for missing emails because they decided that “the servers would not result in the recovery of any information.” They admitted they had failed to search the agency’s disaster recovery tapes because they had “no reason to believe that the tapes are a potential source of recovering” the missing emails.  And they conceded that they had not searched the government-wide back-up system because they had “no reason to believe such a system … even exists.”

But:

The IRS admitted to Judge Sullivan that the agency failed to “submit declarations about any of the foregoing items because it had no reason to believe that they were sources from which to recover information lost as a result of Lerner’s hard drive failure.” [Emphasis added]  Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS had previously told Judicial Watch that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe.

This sounds like a bad-faith effort – really, contempt of court.  Judge Sullivan cannot be happy about this cavalier failure to exert any effort to comply with an order.  Judicial Watch continues:

The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search.

Has  anyone ever successfully argued to the IRS that it would be too onerous to produce tax records the agency demands, which the taxpayer admits exist?

In the October federal court filing, the IRS does not deny that the government-wide back-up system exists, and acknowledges to the court that 760 other email “servers” have been discovered but had not been searched.  The IRS also refuses to disclose the names of the IRS officials who may have information about the IRS scandal, citing unspecified threats.  The IRS says it pulled documents about the scandal from various employees into a “Congressional database” and that it has only searched this one “database” for missing records.  Incredibly, the IRS has not searched any of the IRS’s regular computer systems for any missing records and admits that it has only searched a “database” that it knows does not contain the missing records being sought by the court, Judicial Watch, and Congress.

The Democrats continue their hardline assertion that there is no scandal here.  But the IRS’s refusal to disclose records that it seems to have access to but refuses to search for argues that there is something really incriminating.

Meanwhile, Lois Lerner continues to collect her six-figure pension.