No one buying claim that Lois Lerner’s IRS emails were lost

posted at 1:21 pm on June 16, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Last Friday afternoon, the Internal Revenue Service claimed that Lois Lerner, a former executive tasked with overseeing tax-exemption applications, lost thousands of emails after her computer crashed. Many of those emails, the tax collection agency claimed, could not be recovered.

This convenient excuse for failing to comply with a request from House investigators is not sitting well with some in the journalistic community.

“Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?” CNN’s John King asked his panel of political reporters on Monday. “Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe that Lois Lerner’s emails suddenly went ‘poof?’”

King added that he agreed with Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) who said that it was “unacceptable” that this information was just coming to light now, over a year after the investigation into allegations that the IRS targeted conservative political groups with undue scrutiny began.

“Waiting a year to tell the Congress makes me suspicious,” King said.

“It’s hard to believe in this era, where you have servers, and backup servers, and all kinds of technology that can recover all kinds of emails, that these emails simply don’t exist,” Associated Press reporter Julie Pace agreed. “If that is true, and they don’t exist, why wasn’t that one of the first things that was told to Congress?”

“I’m not sure what’s with this administration and computer problems, but it seems to be happening time and again,” Politico’s Manu Raju concurred.

It seems that even those predisposed to extend federal officials the benefit of the doubt are not accepting the claim that Lerner’s emails simply disappeared into thin air at face value.

In a sardonic segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough ruthlessly mocked the notion that a hardware crash could eliminate files stored on remote servers.

“Mika, even you have to admit this is pretty ridiculous,” Scarborough probed.

“Pretty ridiculous,” Brzezinski replied. “Those emails exist.”

Perhaps made uncomfortable by the implications surrounding this admission, Brzezinski quickly changed topics. It would, however, be shameful if the American political press did the same. The concession from these prominent political reporters and commentators serves as a mandate to pursue the story surrounding the IRS scandal with renewed vigor.

And those who are scratching the surface of this story are unsettled by what they are finding. In March, as Townhall’s Guy Benson noted on Monday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress that all the relevant email communications are “stored somewhere” on severs.

This development in a controversy which President Barack Obama called a “phony scandal” at an agency were he insisted there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” provides reporters with the clearest indication yet that the president was either not being truthful or had been misled.

So, which is it?

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So, which is it?

It is more criminal activity at the highest level of our government.

The media allowed this to occur. Look at some of their earliest statements when this scandal came to light.

You can count this amongst the many illegal issues the press has helped Mr. Obama and his administration avoid for years. In Benghazi, an American ambassador and three other Americans are murdered and the press demurs. A border agent is murdered because of this administrations Fast and Furious program. That’s fallen off the pages. Apparently nobody is responsible. Not even the AG who was directly involved.

And the list goes on…

You’ll forgive me, if I am somewhat skeptical the media suddenly has a genuine interest in this issue.

Marcus Traianus on June 17, 2014 at 6:53 AM

Knott Buyinit on June 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM

It will go badly for the people at the IRS if they keep it up. As I posted earlier, they are required to copy and archive every email at an offsite location:

Late Friday, the IRS apparently advised the Ways & Means Committee that the IRS has “lost” Lois Lerner’s hard drive which includes thousands of Defendant Lerner’s e-mail records. However, several statutes and regulations require that the records be accessible by the Committees, and, in turn, must be preserved and made available to TTV in the event of discovery in the pending litigation. Those statutes include the Federal Records Act, Internal Revenue Manual section (which refers to the IRS’s preservation of electronic mail messages), IRS Document 12829 (General Records Schedule 23, Records Common to Most Offices, Item 5 Schedule of Daily Activities), 36 C.F.R. 1230 (reporting accidental destruction,) and 36 CFR 1222.12. Under those records retention regulations, and the Federal Records Act generally, the IRS is required to preserve emails or otherwise contemporaneously transmit records for preservation.

The entire letter is very enlightening.

dogsoldier on June 17, 2014 at 8:54 AM

No one buying claim that Lois Lerner’s IRS emails were lost

It doesn’t matter if anyone believes it or not. Obama knows there isn’t one [email protected] thing Congress can or is willing to do about it! This is a big ‘F*@& YOU’ to the House and anyone mad that he successfully targeted his political enemies!

easyt65 on June 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Tim Scott Trolls IRS

blammm on June 17, 2014 at 11:42 AM

It will go badly for the people at the IRS if they keep it up. As I posted earlier, they are required to copy and archive every email at an offsite location:

dogsoldier on June 17, 2014 at 8:54 AM

How many people in this regime who have violated the law has it “gone bad” for so far?

dentarthurdent on June 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM


It’s not just Lois Lerner’s e-mails. 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

dentarthurdent on June 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM

None so far.

dogsoldier on June 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM

This is monumental.

Because A. It’s an impossibility that this story will stand up.

and B. Either the cover-up and lies AND/OR the content of those emails showing White House involvement in the IRS targeting of conservatives is an impeachable offense for Barack Obama.

I don’t throw that around lightly. But look at the case against Richard Nixon. Two of the elements of it were that he used the power of executive offices to attack political enemies and the deletion of tape-recorded evidence. (His secretary claimed her inadvertent erasure would only account for about 5 of the 18.5 minutes missing.)

Seems rather parallel.

If it comes to that, the difference of course will be that Republicans sided with the good of the country and voted to impeach Nixon; there’s not a chance in the world Democrats would do the same. Nothing is more important to them than themselves and their power.

FishingwFredo on June 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Lois Lerner’s emails weren’t “lost” lost…

They were on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Roy Rogers on June 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

The only reason for a cover-up this extensive, and this desperate, is because when — not “if” — those emails finally turn up, they’ll lead straight to the feet of King Barry.

People don’t need to be “fired” for this. People need to go to jail.

Spurius Ligustinus on June 17, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I want a poll; does anybody really believe this?

gormmm on June 18, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Lois Lerner’s emails weren’t “lost” lost…

They were on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Roy Rogers on June 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Winner !

listens2glenn on June 19, 2014 at 8:54 AM