'If the IRS can't find the emails, maybe a special prosecutor can'
So writes liberal columnist Ron Fournier at the National Journal.
The White House is stonewalling the IRS investigation. The most benign explanation is that Obama's team is politically expedient and arrogant, which makes them desperate to change the subject, and convinced of their institutional innocence. That's bad enough. But without a fiercely independent investigation, we shouldn't assume the explanation is benign.
Fournier might have also pointed out that the White House has stonewalled every other investigation into wrongdoing by the Obama administration. Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, and now the VA scandal - all have, to one degree or another, the patina of arrogance and dismissiveness from a White House (and a lap dog Justice Department) that knows that none of these scandals will receive the wall to wall coverage they'd get if a Republican was in the White House. So they bank on a friendly press to bury the lede and parrot the line that these are all non scandals - just political fodder for crazy, paranoid Republicans.
Here's something to chew on; The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, (TIGTA) created a timeline in 2013 that mentions "email" as the source for much of their documentation:
Incredibly, this report, released in May 2013, names “email” as the source for much of their timeline documenting events in 2010 and 2011, but possibly, now those emails are “lost”. 16 out of the 26 non-redacted events in that timeline refer to “email” as the source.
And yet, again, the IRS only “has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame…it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.” The ability for an inbox to lose certain emails during the time frame — but not others — is incredible.
David Camp hits the nail on the head when he notes that, “because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone”. Thus, the Obama Administration and its agencies are conveniently spared.
I am usually cicumspect in positing wrongdoing where simple incompetence suffices as an explanation. But here, the best explanation is that there was deliberate destruction of evidence meant to impede a congressional investigation into a potential impeachable offense by the president. This is not to say that the White House was intimately involved in the targeting - only that this is a serious investigation and if the president were found to have known about the intimidation, he would be as guilty as Nixon was in using the IRS for political purposes. The second article of impeachment against Nixon was for abusing the IRS. And the destruction of this evidence, for whatever reason, raises real questions about who knew what and when.
It doesn't get any more serious than that. And Fournier's call for a special prosector should be developed as an issue that Republicans should run on in the fall.