IRS: Those Lois Lerner emails you wanted? Yeah, her computer crashed, so…

posted at 4:51 pm on June 13, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Tasked by congressional investigators with uncovering all the emails related to the alleged targeting of conservative political groups with undue scrutiny, the Internal Revenue Service made some new emails available to investigators on Friday. However, in a statement, the agency confessed that former IRS executive Lois Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011 and efforts to restore some of the data lost in that crash have been unsuccessful.

The IRS informed congressional investigators on Friday that they have been working to uncover all of Lerner’s emails, even those not relating to ongoing investigations. While searching for those emails, however, they encountered a problem:

Via the Wall Street Journal:

In the course of collecting and producing Ms. Lerner’s additional emails, the IRS determined her hard drive crashed in 2011. At the time, Ms. Lerner asked IRS IT professionals to restore her hard drive, but they were unable to do so. Nonetheless, the IRS has or will produce 24,000 Lerner emails from this 2009-2011 time period, largely from the files of the other 82 individuals

“The IRS said it has done its best to reconstruct the emails of the former executive, Lois Lerner, who retired as the controversy unfolded last year,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The IRS statement asserts that the agency has made “unprecedented efforts” to work with investigators and provide them with all the materials they have requested.


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fire them all

clandestine on June 14, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Right. Those emails are on the server, the backup server, and the backup server’s backup server, and the SAN. The IRS does not lose data–especially not email.

stvnscott on June 14, 2014 at 9:46 AM

looks like the NSA can finally do some good here
.
And let’s not forget that emails always contain meta data not only identifying the senders email address but also a whole slew of data as identifying the computer, it’t fingerprint, the ip location it was sent from.
.
Lerner may have pulled a Watson, using a fake name as did that other piece of human excrement of the EPA , but with this meta data we can find out who she has sent to and who to ask for emails sent to her.
.
They may have scrubbed backups at the IRS but it they cannot scrub the backups of the email servers of other organizations and external groups.
.
He he he he…

huntingmoose on June 14, 2014 at 10:16 AM

This is a perfectly valid excuse…..if it were 1989.

JoeHop on June 14, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Nonsense. Rubbish! The emails are not stored on her computer they are on a server. What kind of IT department does not do backups on the main mail server?

crazywater on June 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Nonsense. Rubbish! The emails are not stored on her computer they are on a server. What kind of IT department does not do backups on the main mail server?

crazywater on June 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM

None. They’re lying…

They said they are still going to produce them all, but I think they’re throwing this ‘computer crash’ bull$hit out there for a couple of reasons…

1. A good number of people will believe it. ‘Yeah, that like totally happened to me one time…’

2. They will probably be editing the the hell out of them before they release them and they can say ‘Well, her computer did crash’ so that could have done this or that or FLUX CAPACITOR…it’s Technical.

Why in the hell would they trot this obvious lie??

BigWyo on June 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Can they go to White House, DoJ, etc and get copies sent to them from
Lerner?

Herb on June 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM

The estab repubs collaborated. That’s why I.R.S. of all world wide Cossack entities is blubbering “the dog ate our emails”. We are as big an enemy to the estab repubs as the Stalinist left. They’ve been fine fighting each other for our tax dollar, they’re damn sure not interested in us getting involved. That’s why “Tea Party” is the new “N-Jew”. We are so disdained by our government. We are the unwashed, the peasant slave, the infidel.
Fire them all? They know what they deserve, long prison sentences, justice is slowly creeping up on them, and they hate us all the more for it.
Prison. Life sentences. If not all of them, almost all of them.

onomo on June 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Right. Those emails are on the server, the backup server, and the backup server’s backup server, and the SAN. The IRS does not lose data–especially not email.

stvnscott on June 14, 2014 at 9:46 AM

This. Email is forever. They are lying if they say they don’t have it or cannot get it. Also emails she sent to the White House and received from the White House will have backups and copies of back ups.

What this says is they are desperately afraid of what is in those emails.
Are they seriously trying to state they never backed up her PC? Is anyone buying that bull?

dogsoldier on June 14, 2014 at 10:57 AM

And I’m sure the hard-drive was inadvertently wiped during the attempted recovery.

TimBuk3 on June 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM

“Yeah, we searched through all of our 5 1/4″ floppy disks and just can’t find them. Darn that DOS 3.0″

PackerBronco on June 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

And I’m sure the hard-drive was inadvertently wiped during the attempted recovery.

TimBuk3 on June 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM

There are companies that can recover data from the actual platters inside, unless they used a hammer on it. None of that matters though because copies of those emails are all over the place, for those willing to look for them.

dogsoldier on June 14, 2014 at 11:06 AM

So why isn’t the GOP immediately taking possession of the computer? And hiring a data recovery team?

PattyJ on June 14, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Total BS. You can, of course, save e-mails to your HD, but that has nothing to do with their availability on the servers.

DisneyFan on June 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I can’t wait to use the “hard drive crash” excuse the next time some parasite from the IRS demands support for the deductions I’ve listed in my tax return.

Cicero43 on June 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM

BREAKING:

IRS submits request for $12B in emergency funding to upgrade email system; promises to “get it right this time”.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

I swear this administration is doing ALL of this on purpose to cause an uprising by his so-called enemies (anyone who doesn’t agree with him) here. This started from day one.
It’s all part of the plan to push, push, nudge, nudge = chaos.
tru2tx on June 13, 2014 at 5:36 PM

This is becoming the only rational explanation.

Thing is, if Obama thinks he is going to WIN a Revolution he provokes using “police special forces” he has miscalculated. The Military won’t be with him (his purge would need a generation to be effective) and the American People still outgun the government 30-1.

DC will fall faster than Baghdad is.

ConstantineXI on June 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

I swear this administration is doing ALL of this on purpose to cause an uprising by his so-called enemies (anyone who doesn’t agree with him) here. This started from day one.
It’s all part of the plan to push, push, nudge, nudge = chaos.
tru2tx on June 13, 2014 at 5:36 PM

If chaos is the goal, how do the perpetrators and enablers i.e.; Lerner, benefit? If they’re “in on it”, how do they intend to insulate themselves from the food shortages and power outages?

Its all a great story for a movie, but you’d have to believe that all of these people are on board for a shitty existence for themselves.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM

It’s simple.

Reduce IRS funding to Zero, and make it remain Zero until they cooperate.

jaydee_007 on June 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I don’t know who the next President will be, but I’m convinced it will be the last President.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Chaffetz tweeted recorded testimony affirming that an email archive exists.

BirdEye on June 14, 2014 at 12:18 PM

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/lois-lerners-lost-emails.php

onlineanalyst on June 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM

From your link, a Power Line DOJ Mole writes:

I’m a DOJ lawyer, so you obviously cannot use my name or any identifying information. But the idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.

Keep up the good work.

And said DOJ mole’s postscript is absolutely chilling:

I’m serious about your keeping any identifying information out of the media. Things are very, very bad.

“The Adults are in charge.”

Del Dolemonte on June 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I don’t know who the next President will be, but I’m convinced it will be the last President.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Methinks the one we have now will be.

Del Dolemonte on June 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Federal dictates that every piece of e-mail must be preserved in backup for at least 7 years. Everything moving across their mail servers. They MUST preserve this at the server level. Those e-mails are not gone. A computer crash did not delete them. Once again our government is counting on the fact that we, like them are complete Luddites and morons. “Ummm computer crash. Her hard drive failed. It’s all gone!” Was a great excuse during the Clinton administration. It doesn’t work anymore. No matter how you slice it what the IRS is claiming is now criminality. In fact they are claiming that they themselves do not follow laws that they insisted be put in place for oversight and litigation. They extended the 7 year retention rule to all electronic comunications.

patches on June 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

If chaos is the goal, how do the perpetrators and enablers i.e.; Lerner, benefit? If they’re “in on it”, how do they intend to insulate themselves from the food shortages and power outages?

Its all a great story for a movie, but you’d have to believe that all of these people are on board for a shitty existence for themselves.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM

People like Lerner are such devotees of government that the idea that being part of the “Nobility” so to speak, as a career bureaucrat doesn’t render her completely IMMUNE to the fate the “peasants” will get.

Simply put, the idea that the Obama Regime has any POSSIBILITY of losing a Revolt against it is inconceivable. The number of people in DC who even consider the possibility of ending up on lamposts instead of being Lords numbers nearly ZERO.

ConstantineXI on June 14, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I don’t know who the next President will be, but I’m convinced it will be the last President.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Methinks the one we have now will be.

Del Dolemonte on June 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, in a mere 6 years has “fundamentally transformed” America from a Superpower to a Failed State.

We are closer to coming completely apart than most everyone realizes. Certainly the idea that in 1-3-5-10 years Washington DC will be transformed from Capitol to Irrelevancy in part of or even ALL of the territory that is the United States currently is inconceivable. But it’s a looming likelihood at this point.

ConstantineXI on June 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Federal dictates that every piece of e-mail must be preserved in backup for at least 7 years. Everything moving across their mail servers. They MUST preserve this at the server level. Those e-mails are not gone. A computer crash did not delete them. Once again our government is counting on the fact that we, like them are complete Luddites and morons. “Ummm computer crash. Her hard drive failed. It’s all gone!” Was a great excuse during the Clinton administration. It doesn’t work anymore. No matter how you slice it what the IRS is claiming is now criminality. In fact they are claiming that they themselves do not follow laws that they insisted be put in place for oversight and litigation. They extended the 7 year retention rule to all electronic comunications.

patches on June 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Obama has been very careful to surround himself with minions who are less intelligent and even more ignorant than he is. Narcissists can NOT tolerate underlings who outshine them after all.

The mistake they make is that they don’t realize they are morons. Quite the contrary, they view themselves as Geniuses and believe that the People are the morons. And there is SOME validity to that theory: Obama was re-elected after all.

What they are selling is a contradiction. How can the government be both All Wise, SO much better at doing everything for us than we can for ourselves, and at the same time SO CONSISTENTLY INEPT? Which is why it won’t sell.

ConstantineXI on June 14, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Nearly all computer backup systems are Grandfather-Father-Son or a variant. For large organizations they have daily backups a few months, weekly for a few quarters, monthly for a few years, quarterly backups more years, then yearly backups. You have to go out of your way not to do the right thing with the systems out there.

Email servers and backups are cheap. All this has been routine stuff for 25+ years. Nowadays there’s a whole lot of free software if you want to go that route. When was the last time you had to pay for email?

In the case of the IRS they keep tax records going back, well… I’ve never heard of them getting rid of records. Accidental loss of over two years of emails that went through their servers is NOT POSSIBLE. If it truly happened their entire IT infrastructure should be outsourced and all upper management replaced. But it didn’t happen.

13 months ago the head of the IRS said they had all of the emails that Congress was asking for and would supply them. Just now they’ve gone missing?

I’m getting really tired of being lied to.

theCork on June 14, 2014 at 1:02 PM

I take it back. The IRS said they had all her emails just MARCH of this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax6QGmKhRwo&feature=youtu.be

theCork on June 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Who touched her computer? What are their names? When did they do it? It is a union shop so there are logs of whoever touched her computer. Where is her computer now? Subpoena the NSA metadata. At what point did they know the data was gone and who knew it was gone?

Come on.

HopeHeFails on June 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Comment of the day at Power Line:

They put the emails on a secret VA waiting list.

Del Dolemonte on June 14, 2014 at 1:18 PM

The have “lost” the emails between LL and the WH, DOJ, FBI, etc, i.e. the one that would prove she was illegally conspiring with these guys outside the IRS to screw the Tea Party/Conservative groups to inhibit their activities before the 2012 election. This is conspiratorial in and of itself. The IRS has the in house emails between LL and her IRS cohorts.
I don’t know if the NSA has the metadata of any of these govt agencies or the WH. But the servers at the IRS I assume would be the back up Daryl Issa has to get his hands on.
My son reminded me that neither the Dems nor many Repubs want these emails exposed. I bet there are a few establishment Repubs in on this anti-Tea Party activity, too.
Keep on truckin’. It’ll help in gutting the IRS, the DOJ and the WH.

gracie on June 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

BREAKING:

IRS submits request for $12B in emergency funding to upgrade email system; promises to “get it right this time”.

BobMbx on June 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Prior to receipt of funding, $4B already missing and unaccounted for.

MrKleenexMuscles on June 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

How the hell can anyone author 24,000 emails in two years? That’s 32 a day 365 days a year?

FlaVet on June 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Nixon should have just said someone tripped over the tape recorder plug.

V7_Sport on June 14, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Absolutely does ‘Not’ pass the smell test.

As mentioned as well, there are servers to retrieve these emails even if her computer ‘did’ (eh, hem) go down. I believe it’s also required for her to make certain paper copies of such emails.
Just like with what the FBI does frequently, information is still retrievable, sometimes even ‘after’ a wipe.

Additionally… let’s see what the NSA has on them?

How anyone can Not see this as, in the least, Suspicious, is not being intellectually honest, in my opinion.

Can’t wait to see where this goes now.

ObserverMI on June 14, 2014 at 7:20 PM

I wonder if Lerner has the same lousy hair.

Sherman1864 on June 15, 2014 at 1:18 AM

I work in IT, and it is really hard to believe they couldn’t retrieve the emails in question. In order for that to happen, that would mean they have no email archiving system in place or minimal backups going back years.

I’m assuming Microsoft Exchange was in use on the IRS emails servers. That’s what was reported. Any emails that were deleted by a user would not be available straight off the email server after the retention (30 days by default) was reached. So it’s possible Lerner deleted some old emails, or archived them to a local PST file either manually or via Outlook’s Auto Archive feature which also moves emails to a local PST file.

However, there should have been nightly backups running, and typically backups are retained in a stepped fashion, like daily backups for the last month, weekly backups for the last 3 months, and monthly backups forever.

Email archiving (very different from the Outlook’s Auto Archive feature mentioned above) retains a copy of every single incoming or outgoing email at the server level. One would assume in a federal office, an archiving system would be in place. Lots of private businesses are required to have one. Also the email archive should be backed up regularly.

In order to lose all of one (or more??) user’s emails for a 2 YEAR PERIOD, all of the following would have to be true:

1) The user deleted or moved to a local PST file all of the emails, both sent and received, during that period.
2) If moved to a local PST file, the PST file was subsequently deleted or on a hard drive that crashed or that was wiped after a user changed computers.
3) There were no monthly backups of the Exchange Server going back five years.
4) There were no yearly backups of the Exchange Server going back five years.
5) The IT department did not retain the email archiving for the period in question.
6) Backups of email archiving was not retained for 5 years.

I would note that if items 3-6 are true, then the IT dept could not get back any of the other users’ emails for the period in question either, if they were not still in the users’ Mailboxes or in local PST files.

In small businesses, that would be believable. They don’t always have email archiving setup and users delete old emails or a user’s mailbox is deleted when they leave the business, and sufficient backups going back 5 years are not always in place. But this is the federal government where I’m pretty sure all these extra backups and archiving are required by law, so if they really can’t reproduce the emails, someone should be losing their job in the IT dept soon.

willamettevalley on June 15, 2014 at 2:30 AM

This is your Government once again believing that we are all stupid enough to believe this. Apparently it’s the early nineties and we don’t realize it.

gator70 on June 15, 2014 at 7:52 AM

fire them all

clandestine on June 14, 2014 at 9:09 AM

No. If a business owner under audit by the IRS had this happen and gave the same excuse, a criminal investigation would surely follow.

It may be difficult given that our chief law enforcement officer and the head of DOJ are very selective in which laws they enforce and are equally selective in whom they investigate and prosecute.

jpmn on June 15, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Did they really believe no one in the public would call their bluff? Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of served knows its a lies.

dougless on June 15, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Even if the computer crashed it would still be recoverable.
That doesn’t really matter though. Everything is done on servers and is backed up. This is absurd.

Cladinator on June 15, 2014 at 1:40 PM

There is ALWAYS a backup system. Just b/c Dem Lerner’s computer crashed by NO means indicates the data is gone. It was backed up somewhere else, and most likely in multiple places.

MN J on June 15, 2014 at 2:12 PM

As a long-time IT Director, if I claimed that two years of a senior executive’s emails were lost due to a computer crash, two things would happen; 1- I would be fired and 2- I would be facing criminal charges. The emails are backed up somewhere, even if they are on the NSA’s servers.

rongoulden dot com\Literary dot html

xmanvietnam on June 15, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Forget firing. This pretty much rises to the level of “probable cause”. Start issuing warrants and subpoenas. Anyone not being forthright gets jailed.

patches on June 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM

This could get funny. If the threads about the servers and all are true, and these e-mails really aren’t impossible to retrieve, this could end up being like the Watergate Hearings where the White House taping system was exposed.

Just imagine, if they’re going through all of this effort to keep them from the investigators, what they say! Personally, I think they’re just trying to run out the clock until after the November elections. Knowing Obama and company, they figure if they get past them, and retain the Senate, they’re home free until Obama leaves office.

bflat879 on June 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Forget firing. This pretty much rises to the level of “probable cause”. Start issuing warrants and subpoenas. Anyone not being forthright gets jailed.

patches on June 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Just like Fast and Furious all we will get is reams of paper 100% redacted to protect the guilty.

jpmn on June 15, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Just like Fast and Furious all we will get is reams of paper 100% redacted to protect the guilty.

jpmn on June 15, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Need an opposition party.

David Blue on June 15, 2014 at 8:38 PM

I had no idea all of my emails are stored only on my local hard drive. That’s comforting to know.

CycloneCDB on June 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM

What about a government wide search for e-mails FROM Lois Lerner… unless everybody’s “computer crashed” if they ever got an e-mail from Lerner during that specific period, which given the history of this admin, is a distinct “possibility.” Where is government redundancy when you really need it? Paging the NSA.

limmo on June 16, 2014 at 11:11 AM

How the hell can anyone author 24,000 emails in two years? That’s 32 a day 365 days a year?

FlaVet on June 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Me sending out 32 unique emails in one day is a slow day – and no, I’m not couting each recipient as unique.

So I could send 50 and hit 800 recipients on a normal work day – plus preview/read 100+ incoming emails, inluding responses to my data calls etc.

AH_C on June 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM

The Internal Revenue Service says it can’t produce e-mails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/380576/irs-has-lost-more-e-mails-eliana-johnson#!

Star Bird on June 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I am glad that so many people are seeing through this rouge. I worked for a large company and I bet my computer went down monthly if not weekly and I would have to call in a repair ticket for our IT guy who once in a while would call in a company rep. The company was able to pull up all my emails with out a problem. What has happened here is some one in the IRS found this old email and now they are trying to use it to continue to hide the emails that the over site committee is looking for.
I am surprised but glad to see people are not buying this huge lie.
I am sure that with the main stream media trying to help Obama as they are the propaganda arm of his administration they will move on as soon as they can as they sure wont follow through to get the truth.

pwb on June 17, 2014 at 1:18 PM

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