Smoking Gun in the IRS Scandal?

During questioning by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Darrell Issa at his June 23, 2014 appearance and testimony, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen provided a startling revelation, one that could conceivably lead to the dam bursting in the IRS scandal. At the 2:21-2:28 mark of his testimony (, Koskinen said:

All emails are not official records under any official records Act, only emails are saved that reflect agency actions.  

Emails are routed through and stored on email servers, the production and amassing of which are ordinarily stored in bits and bytes on redundant hard drives until queried by a human and only then printed, assuming they meet a specific search criteria. In this case, however, there is likely no combination of search terms that would or would not conclusively identify any particular email as reflecting agency action and therefore, be retained. Owing to the unlikelihood of search terms positively identifying each and every agency action-related email and thus, separating it from the chaff would, by definition, require human intervention and review. Absent the same, the possibility that agency action emails might be improperly purged is unacceptably high… even in government circles.

What this suggests is that all IRS-generated emails are, in addition to their electronic versions, simultaneously or soon thereafter produced as hard copies. IRS rules make clear that reducing emails to hard copies is required.  From these, the reviewer(s) then determine whether or not the email was agency action-related and therefore, retained or conversely, removed from the system. Of course, and assuming malevolent motivations and intentions, such a review system likewise makes it possible to identify and purge all potentially damaging and incriminating emails as well. Koskinen’s above statement, coupled with the utterly ridiculous notion that the emails of seven IRS personnel potentially implicated in the scandal have been lost forever, strains credulity, never mind common sense.    

As a consequence of Koskinen’s utterance, Chairman Issa and those committee members committed to finding the truth underlying the IRS scandal should immediately identify, subpoena, and compel the testimony of the IRS email review team member(s), as well as acquiring all documentation and directives controlling the conduct of the review member(s).  In doing so, the committee, as well as the American public, might then learn the lengths to which this seemingly rogue agency will go in order to protect and shield themselves and possibly, those higher up who may likewise be complicit in the cover-up.  

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