IRS: Hey, maybe we do have our e-mail backups

posted at 8:01 am on July 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Does the IRS actually have their backups for e-mail from the period when Lois Lerner and her group targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny on tax-exempt applications? The agency claimed a month ago that it overwrote the tapes every six months, in one of the most notorious (and unsuccessful) Friday afternoon document dumps ever. New testimony from one of the IRS’ top lawyers released last night by the House Oversight Committee casts doubt on that story (via Instapundit):

The IRS might not have lost the backups of former agency administrator Lois Lerner’s emails after all, according to a top IRS official.

In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the IRS’s deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled.

The IRS told lawmakers in June that the tapes had been recycled, one of the reasons that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were missing. Since then, the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, has repeatedly stood by those statements in congressional testimony.

But Kane, the top IRS official in charge of producing documents for Congress, said on Thursday that: “I don’t know if there is a backup tape with information on it or there isn’t. I know that there’s an issue out there about it.” …

In the transcript released by Issa, Kane also insists that the IRS believed that the tapes had been recycled when it told Congress more than a month ago that it couldn’t recover all of Lerner’s emails. He doesn’t say why that might not be the case anymore.

At some point, this begins to look like trolling. We have them! We don’t have them! We may have them, but … er … we don’t know!

This is the IRS — the one agency that intimidates every American into keeping every receipt they have for a rolling seven years. They’ve had more than a year to locate and secure these communication records, and they just spent the last month taking a very public beating over the loss of their backups and the mysterious epidemic of hard-drive failures. After all of that, the IRS still hasn’t figured out whether they have the data or not?

This is one of the best arguments for the flat-tax system ever.

Speaking of Koskinen, ranking Oversight member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) believes the IRS Commissioner to be the sympathetic character in this little drama of incompetence and corruption. Despite the fact that Oversight can’t get a straight answer that sticks out of the IRS and hard drives are failing at a high rate among Lerner associates, Cummings wants the committee to stop picking on Mr. No Apologies:

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Monday to ChairmanDarrell Issa, R-Calif., objecting to a decision to call Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing on Wednesday. It would be the third time Koskinen appeared before the panel in the past month, Cummings noted.

“Requiring Commissioner Koskinen to testify again this week not only takes him away from the day-to-day duties of operating an agency with 90,000 employees, but it also diverts our Committee from conducting responsible oversight on many key areas that traditionally have been part of our jurisdiction,” Cummings said in the letter. …

An Issa spokesman said Cummings has wanted to end the probe into the IRS targeting for a year, despite evidence suggesting wrongdoing by the agency.

”Despite efforts by the Ranking Member to obstruct fact-based oversight, Commissioner Koskinen actually informed the subcommittee that he would be available to testify on this date back on July 3,” the spokesman said. “On July 9, he even appeared in front of another Oversight subcommittee despite the fact that the Commissioner – and not the Committee – had asked if he could testify.”

Koskinen’s earlier testimony has been at least partially rebutted, and it appears that either Koskinen didn’t tell the truth or is ignorant about what is going on in his own organization — despite the high priority Congress has placed on this inquiry. That is certainly worth another trip to Capitol Hill for Koskinen, as well as providing answers on basic questions such as these on the hard-drive-failure epidemic sweeping the IRS. Cummings’ attempt to turn Koskinen into a victim is just the latest joke in the Democratic pratfall of attempted obstruction in this investigation.

Wonder when the first GOP ad hitting Democrats for rushing to defend the IRS will hit the airwaves? Or has it already?


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Lying to the American People as a government employee should carry a mandatory 20 year prison term.

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:06 AM

(Don’t) worry; they’ll be erased as soon as they’re found, with no consequences for either those who do the erasing or those who order said erasing.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:06 AM

If this was a gop administration Cummings would be out in full force

Hypocrite

These idiots will do anything and everything to protect this administration

cmsinaz on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Wonder when the first GOP ad hitting Democrats for rushing to defend the IRS will hit the airwaves? Or has it already?

The 39th of Never.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Speaking of Koskinen, ranking Oversight member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) believes the IRS Commissioner to be the sympathetic character in this little drama of incompetence and corruption.

That’s probably because Cummings and his staff conspired with Lois Lerner to target conservatives. He’s knee-deep in this scandal and he knows it.

Doughboy on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

If the lsm would actually dotheir job

cmsinaz on July 22, 2014 at 8:08 AM

If this was a gop administration Cummings would be out in full force

Hypocrite

These idiots will do anything and everything to protect this administration

cmsinaz on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Point of order – if this were a GOP administration, the impeachments and resignations in lieu of impeachments would continue until Leaky Leahy became President.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:10 AM

In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the IRS’s deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled.

So…. If I have the scorecard filled out correctly…… The IRS claims they have spent man years of time and millions of dollars scouring their agency for the impossible demands of producing the Lerner e-mails from the critical time that the IRS was targeting innocent groups for partisan reasons. They’ve repeatedly said there is no more to disclose just before “more” appears.

But in this round there is only one relevant question. Where are the asset managers that would have had be involved to recycle hard drives and back-up tapes?

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Ya know,…this reminds me of Democrats
finding lost, er, misplaced voter ballots!!!!!!

canopfor on July 22, 2014 at 8:13 AM

cummings is a traitor to black people….he just keeps his nest feathered and they keep voting for him….cummings is in on this…

crosshugger on July 22, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Good point Steve

cmsinaz on July 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

The other story here is Cummings. Half the CBC is corrupt.

mankai on July 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I like the part where the (R)s have the only opportunity I’ve ever seen in my lifetime to reign in (replace?) the IRS and could probably take back the Senate with a plan and promise to kill the beast, and they’re managing to squander it.

rogerb on July 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

That’s probably because Cummings and his staff conspired with Lois Lerner to target conservatives. He’s knee-deep in this scandal and he knows it.

Doughboy on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Cummings sent her a letter DEMANDING it as a matter of fact.

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Hey Cummings GFY!!

jeffinsjvca on July 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Cummings is one of the most racist scumbags in Congress. He should be rotting in prison.

Flange on July 22, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Wonder when the first GOP ad hitting Democrats for rushing to defend the IRS will hit the airwaves? Or has it already?

The 39th of Never.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Exactly. Which is why I never contribute to the party or to committees anymore, only to candidates.

The GOPe isn’t any more outraged than Cummings on this subject.

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Did we get around to this Drudge-linked story?
IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives

whatcat on July 22, 2014 at 8:21 AM

I always wondered how long it would take to recreate edit fix these “lost” e-mails.

Jeffster on July 22, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Cummings really goes out of his way to make Congressional blacks look truly corrupt and stupid. Is that the goal, or is it just “racist” to point that out?

DimsdalePiranha on July 22, 2014 at 8:25 AM

I like the part where the (R)s have the only opportunity I’ve ever seen in my lifetime to reign in (replace?) the IRS and could probably take back the Senate with a plan and promise to kill the beast, and they’re managing to squander it.

rogerb on July 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

They don’t want to. First of all, the establishment GOP types don’t see anything wrong with using the IRS against conservative groups, because being progressives themselves (if second-string ones as opposed to fire-breathing “Death to Western Civilization!” types) they don’t like those “upstarts” horning in on their sweetheart deal with the ruling Dems.

Second, when they get back in power (if they ever do) they think they can then use the IRS as a weapon against their enemies.

Only if their enemies are…conservative. The staff at IRS are hardcore progressive, and mostly registered D. If they think that lot will ever go against their Party, well, they could ask Leon Trotsky how that works out. Assuming they have a good trance medium handy, that is.

The progressive GOP establishment is just as delusional as the progressive Democrat establishment. Their delusions simply take slightly different forms, is all.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 22, 2014 at 8:26 AM

So the IRS has no in-house tech support or have we not gotten to their testimony yet?

Dongemaharu on July 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Did we get around to this Drudge-linked story?
IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives

whatcat on July 22, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Where do you think the last of the backups are located?

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Point of order – if this were a GOP administration, the impeachments and resignations in lieu of impeachments would continue until Leaky Leahy became President.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:10 AM

For certain. Our media is a complete degenerate disgrace.

Also they keep talking about “tapes.” Is anyone taking that seriously?

dogsoldier on July 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Oh and do you know why they are hedging on the email? The offsite backups and differential (uh-oh) backups are backed up as well.

They are worried email will surface and are trying to “get ahead.”

dogsoldier on July 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Second, when they get back in power (if they ever do) they think they can then use the IRS as a weapon against their enemies.

Only if their enemies are…conservative. The staff at IRS are hardcore progressive, and mostly registered D. If they think that lot will ever go against their Party, well, they could ask Leon Trotsky how that works out. Assuming they have a good trance medium handy, that is….

eon on July 22, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Ask Richard Nixon. Charge 2 of the impeachment charges drawn up against him was attempting to use the IRS to target his political enemies.

What a difference between the 1970s and now. Back then, Nixon couldn’t successfully order the IRS to do his bidding. Now, Teh SCOAMT merely has to wonder aloud, “Who will rid me of these turbulent TEA Party groups?”, and the entirety of the IRS apparatus jumps before asking, “How high?”.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Cummings really goes out of his way to make Congressional blacks look truly corrupt and stupid. Is that the goal, or is it just “racist” to point that out?

DimsdalePiranha on July 22, 2014 at 8:25 AM

If you added the IQ’s of all members of the Congressional Racist Caucus together would it break 100?

There are some truly stupid people in the CBC, people who make Obama look like a genius. And Obama has been witnessed confusing a window for a door, forgetting the number of States in the Union, and struggling to open an umbrella.

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Someone will correct me if I’m wrong about this, but didn’t a judge just demand in a pre-trial hearing (I think in the True the Vote case) that the IRS provide, in writing and under oath, an explanation of how these e-mails went missing and why they can’t be recovered? And now, facing that prospect, all of a sudden, maybe they can be produced! Sounds like the IRS is finally starting to live up to it’s hashtags.

rogaineguy on July 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

This is one of the best arguments for the flat-tax system ever.

Monaco has a 0% income tax rate. It also has a 0% unemployment rate. Really frustrating that half our country is so terminally stupid.

crrr6 on July 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

What a difference between the 1970s and now. Back then, Nixon couldn’t successfully order the IRS to do his bidding. Now, Teh SCOAMT merely has to wonder aloud, “Who will rid me of these turbulent TEA Party groups?”, and the entirety of the IRS apparatus jumps before asking, “How high?”.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:33 AM

No, the bureaucracy then as now was polluted with progs.

If LBJ had ordered the IRS to go after his enemies they would have, just as they did for Clinton and Obama (the Clinton’s enemies would get IRS audits too).

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

It appears someone isn’t cooperating with the cover up and may deliver the evidence to Issa. Why else would they waffle on the existence of the emails? If they deliver them to Issa they can redact them, but if someone else delivers the raw email uh-oh, they’re goose is cooked.

It’s cooked anyway.

dogsoldier on July 22, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Issa should subpoena Cummings.

CurtZHP on July 22, 2014 at 8:37 AM

rogaineguy on July 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

He also ordered an IT forensic team to investigate. They will find EVERYTHING and all the backups and backup of back ups.

dogsoldier on July 22, 2014 at 8:39 AM

No, the bureaucracy then as now was polluted with progs.

If LBJ had ordered the IRS to go after his enemies they would have, just as they did for Clinton and Obama (the Clinton’s enemies would get IRS audits too).

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:36 AM

I didn’t say the bureaucracy wasn’t polluted with hard-red-core progs in the 1970s. The change was from a soft-core prog President (which Nixon was) to a hard-red-core prog one.

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Someone will correct me if I’m wrong about this, but didn’t a judge just demand in a pre-trial hearing (I think in the True the Vote case) that the IRS provide, in writing and under oath, an explanation of how these e-mails went missing and why they can’t be recovered? And now, facing that prospect, all of a sudden, maybe they can be produced! Sounds like the IRS is finally starting to live up to it’s hashtags.

rogaineguy on July 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

This is just what I was logging in to say (and now I can hear my hubby saying “didn’t cost you anything to say that!” har har har).

The heat is on and they’re trying to get a slow leak ahead of it. Kinda like how Lerner herself tried to leak it nice and slow when this whole thing started.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 22, 2014 at 8:49 AM

The party of evil is just doing its thing, nothing new here.

Mojave Mark on July 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Can we get a re-write of this introductory prepositional phrase in the paragraph preceding the second block quotation? It doesn’t make sense.

Despite the fact that Oversight can’t get a straight answer that sticks (?) out of the IRS and [that?] hard drives are failing at a high rate among Lerner associates,

Is that what you intended?

BuckeyeSam on July 22, 2014 at 9:05 AM

To believe that this IRS group

1. Miss used the color of office and actively and with full knowledge and support for their actions took inappropriate efforts against conservative groups and other “ENEMIES” of the current administration.

This is only one part their criminal action.
The other part that seems to be ignored by all is that,

2. Miss used the color of office and actively and with full knowledge and support for their actions took inappropriate efforts to PROTECT the tax exempt status of the “FRIENDS” of the current administration.

The first action place all the “ENEMIES” at a disadvantage. The second allowed the “FRIENDS” the ability to launder $Billions in tax free monies in off shore accounts with out any accountability.

It is always No. 2 that smells bad.

jpcpt03 on July 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM

This is one of the best arguments for the flat-tax system ever.

No. This is one of the best arguments for repeal of the 16th Amendment. The federal government should not be taxing the citizens of the several sovereign states directly.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Hey Cummings GFY!!

jeffinsjvca on July 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM

…with a chainsaw.

Doomsday on July 22, 2014 at 9:18 AM

We need a post re-capping how many fronts the IRS is trying to defend.

You have Issa’s hearings, but I think there is another set of House hearings.

The IRS recently paid National Organization for Marriage $50,000 for releasing the names of its donors to a left-wing group.

True the Vote is making some headway in its case in the DC district court.

Judicial Watch is making some headway in its FOIA case in the DC district court.

Jay Sekulow has a collection of tea party groups suing the IRS in the DC district court.

Z Street, a Jewish group seeking 501(c)(3), has recently gotten to a point where it’s about to undertake discovery.

Also, a tea party organization or more than one have survived a motion to dismiss and are about to begin discovery in federal court in Cincinnati.

We need a scorecard with some established shorthand names for each group and inquiry.

Also, in Cincinnati,

BuckeyeSam on July 22, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Issa should subpoena Cummings.

CurtZHP on July 22, 2014 at 8:37 AM

We wish! =) But it’ll never happen, of course. And thoughts of Jamie Gorelick on the 9/11 Commission come to my mind…

non-nonpartisan on July 22, 2014 at 9:21 AM

…operating an agency with 90,000 employees…

You buried the lede.

flipflop on July 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

IRS story changes more often than Bridget O’Shaughnessy

wdkeller on July 22, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Cummings’ attempt to turn Koskinen into a victim is just the latest joke in the Democratic pratfall of attempted obstruction in this investigation.

Cummings is a joke all by himself.

GarandFan on July 22, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Wonder when the first GOP ad hitting Democrats…

You might as well stop right there.

PersonFromPorlock on July 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

It’s amazing what happens when TWO FEDERAL JUDGES order the IRS to have one of its high-ups to SWEAR UNDER OATH that the emails have been destroyed within 30 days.

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Someone will correct me if I’m wrong about this, but didn’t a judge just demand in a pre-trial hearing (I think in the True the Vote case) that the IRS provide, in writing and under oath, an explanation of how these e-mails went missing and why they can’t be recovered? And now, facing that prospect, all of a sudden, maybe they can be produced! Sounds like the IRS is finally starting to live up to it’s hashtags.

rogaineguy on July 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Exactly! Threaten to send a few bureaucrats to jail for perjury and all of a sudden they start remembering where the emails might be.

No one is afraid of lying to congress. Congress has no power because Holder will not prosecute those who commit perjury before congress.

Kaffa on July 22, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Lying to the American People as a government employee should carry a mandatory 20 year prison term.

ConstantineXI on July 22, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Well, no. That would just cost us even more money to support them in prison.

I would vote for bringing back public hanging instead.

climbnjump on July 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

But in this round there is only one relevant question. Where are the asset managers that would have had be involved to recycle hard drives and back-up tapes?

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 8:13 AM

So the IRS has no in-house tech support or have we not gotten to their testimony yet?

Dongemaharu on July 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

I’m trying to give the benefit of the doubt here, is it possible that Issa is smart by getting the senior level people, including the Chairman, on record before dragging in the people that actually know what happened? Does Issa have the inside scoop?
My guess is that some in the IRS believe he does, otherwise the story would not be changing every 10 minutes.
BTW, I said I’m trying to give the benefit of the doubt. It’s harder than it looks…

JusDreamin on July 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Bureaucrats are the vassals in the new aristocracy.

We’re the serfs.

gwelf on July 22, 2014 at 10:11 AM

IRS: We lost those emails in a hard drive crash.

CONGRESS: Ok, why didn’t you tell us about this sooner? Like when it happened?

IRS: We didn’t want to give you the wrong impression that there was something fishy going on.

CONGRESS: Ok, how about recovering those Lerner emails from the hard drives of those she sent emails to.

IRS: Well, uh, we’ve had like 20 hard drive failures man.

CONGRESS: So, nothing fishy going on?

IRS: Yeah, this is totally on the up and up.

CONGRESS: You do realize that not archiving government documents is a federal crime right?

IRS: Emails aren’t government documents.

CONGRESS: Uh, yes they are.

IRS: Hey, maybe we do have them! Somewhere…we’ll get back to you.

gwelf on July 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Cummings, Koskinen and Lerner should all be in prison. (A lot more on that list, but narrowing it to this discussion.)

In a perfect world the IRS would be dismantled over this.

Shay on July 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

is it possible that Issa is smart by getting the senior level people, including the Chairman, on record before dragging in the people that actually know what happened? Does Issa have the inside scoop?
My guess is that some in the IRS believe he does, otherwise the story would not be changing every 10 minutes.

I don’t know about giving the benefit of the doubt but it’s kind of a hopeful thought – I appreciate you stating it.

Shay on July 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM


Where are the asset managers that would have had be involved to recycle hard drives and back-up tapes?

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 8:13 AM

From day-one, it was obvious to anyone in IT that, by issuing subpoenas to the IRS IT minions, we could quickly get to the bottom of this quickly. But they won’t. For the same reason that they will never do this:

“This is one of the best arguments for the flat-tax system ever.”

It’s just Kabuki Theatre for political gains – not for the American People.

Tsar of Earth on July 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is even worse than the KKK who made him famous in the 1960′s.

That fraud has turned into a complete hatemonger.

Dedicating your life to taking away the civil rights of fellow Americans is like Elijah Cummings has done is a terrible thing.

tetriskid on July 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

From day-one, it was obvious to anyone in IT that, by issuing subpoenas to the IRS IT minions, we could quickly get to the bottom of this quickly. But they won’t. For the same reason that they will never do this:

A shame, I was hoping to see how many IT people would fall on their swords for Lerner & Co. I was betting few to none.

Shay on July 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Someone decided he didn’t want to go to jail for Lois Lerner.

Now Lois Lerner must decide for whom she doesn’t want to go to jail.

And so on up the ladder.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Maybe the government is yanking Lois Lerners chain. Trying to prevent her from cutting a deal with the Republicans.

portlandon on July 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

FIRE this @$$hole! Apperaing before a Congressional Investigating Committee is not ‘amateur hour’ at the local bar – you show up with your ‘feces co-located in one sock’, not just guess and make shi’ite up as you go. This guy has already testified that ‘everything has been destroyed…maybe…we might have some e-mails…no, wait – scratch that, they’re gone….on second thought we MAY have back-ups after all…but I will need a month to check on that…’ He obviously either has no friggin’ clue OR, more probably, is scrambling, delaying, and doing whatever it takes to make this go away. Fire his smug @$$…strip him and Lerner of their benefits as punshment for impeding a federal investigation.

easyt65 on July 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Here is what I don’t understand:

1) Elijah Cummings and others keep declaring no wrong-doing / targeting has been proven…WRONG: Loist Lerner told the media (on camera) that the targeting DID occur, that it was perpetrated from within her department, and then apologized on behalf of the IRS. She told the world, ‘YES, TARGETING DID HAPPEN’…so why does the media continue to allow Liberals to keep saying it never happened?

2) Liberals keep declaring there is no link to the White House…which is another LIE. We know the ex-heads of the IRS in 2010-2011 met with Obama more than he did with his own Cabinet. The current head of the IRS also provided the direct link between the IRS and the White House, by informing the Committee of how the IRS went to the WH to tell them they had ‘lost’ the e-mails the committee were looking for…rather than notifying the Investigating Committee! They informed the WH and worked with the WH on the issue of the lost e-mails for over a month before finally having the information dragged out of them by the committee. To prove the WH had something to do with it they REFUSED to allow a WH Cabinet member/rep testify before the Committee – violating the Subpoena served. Thanks to the IRS, especially the current head of the IRS, though, the WH has been connected to the scandal. Libs keep saying otherwise, and the majority of the media is all too happy to keep broadcasting their lies.

easyt65 on July 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

“We have them but it appears selected emails were accidentally deleted…”

right2bright on July 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Too many people know how email works, so they’ll have to come up with Plan D.

formwiz on July 22, 2014 at 11:18 AM

is it possible that Issa is smart by getting the senior level people, including the Chairman, on record before dragging in the people that actually know what happened? Does Issa have the inside scoop?
My guess is that some in the IRS believe he does, otherwise the story would not be changing every 10 minutes.

An attorney never asks a question he doesn’t already have the answer for…the first rule of cross examination.

right2bright on July 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Did we get around to this Drudge-linked story?
IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives

whatcat on July 22, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Where do you think the last of the backups are located?

Steve Eggleston on July 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Couple of things about this story.

First, it is not at all unlikely that the IRS has a large quantity of data on obsolete media, especially tapes; if they were waiting for those records to “age out” of the audit system, then it makes sense to destroy them physically once they are no longer relevant, with any still-active records having been transferred to new storage devices.

Second, if this is being contracted out (or even done in-house), what are the security parameters to keep the taxpayer data from being harvested?

Third, the IRS asserted that “wiped” media are lost in the haystacks after being put back into service, because they don’t track hard-drives by serial number. How, then, can they even know where to look for the “missing emails” if they don’t know who has the hard drives now? (IIRC, they claimed that Lerner’s were actually physically destroyed, but we have so many more people involved now that they can’t use that excuse.)

That’s part of their “out”, maybe; however, they better be tracking their physical inventory by some system, and I am at a loss as to why they aren’t just using serial numbers like almost everyone else in the world.

AesopFan on July 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM

…and it appears that either Koskinen didn’t tell the truth lied or is ignorant about what is going on in his own organization, …

Fixed! Man up and stop mincing words, Ed.

earlgrey on July 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

I would put more credence in an affidavit submitted to a federal judge than to this subordinate’s testimony before Congress.These Obama administration scum have absolutely no fear of lying to Congress, even under oath.

I thinks the odds are better the IRS sent an ignorant tool who knows nothing up to the hill to waste Congress’ time and muddy the waters even further than the odds these emails still exist. But it’s possible, at least, that they do, and some technical people inside the IRS know it, and not all of them can be convinced to lie.

We have no idea what Issa knows. He certainly has more information than he has made public. Normally in an investigation you start with the lower level people and try to flip them. But if Issa has enough incriminating information already he could be setting up Koskinen and the upper echelon.

This thing has been dragging on and on but if Issa does have the goods at this point why not time it to expose the most damaging evidence right before the election in November?

novaculus on July 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Someone will correct me if I’m wrong about this, but didn’t a judge just demand in a pre-trial hearing (I think in the True the Vote case) that the IRS provide, in writing and under oath, an explanation of how these e-mails went missing and why they can’t be recovered? And now, facing that prospect, all of a sudden, maybe they can be produced! Sounds like the IRS is finally starting to live up to it’s hashtags.

rogaineguy on July 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

IRS: Lerner’s hard drive was wiped clean in 2011

The IRS said under oath Friday that former agency official Lois Lerner’s hard drive was destroyed and recycled, echoing earlier testimony from its commissioner.

In its most extensive comments yet on Lerner’s hard drive, the agency said in court filings Friday that the hard drive was destroyed in 2011 to protect confidential taxpayer information.

novaculus on July 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM

An Issa spokesman said Cummings has wanted to end the probe into the IRS targeting for a year, despite evidence suggesting wrongdoing by the agency.

Isn’t Cummings involvement in this probe a conflict of interest?
He should be the “grillee” not the “griller”.

bigGwillie on July 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

This is one of the best arguments for the flat-tax system ever.

Uh, no it’s not. The rate may be flat but you would still have to calculate income by subtracting expenses from revenue. And that would require recordkeeping.

What this is an argument for is to throw out income taxes altogether and replace that with a consmption based VAT or fair tax.

A flat tax is better than progressive taxes only by a matter of degree. But it’s still taxation of income and therefore still violates the American ethos (and natural law), no matter whether it’s legal or not.

jr.ewing.78 on July 22, 2014 at 2:20 PM

John Koskinen, that arrogant, smug, condescending, supercilious, vain, dissembling, prevaricating, deceitful, evasive, mendacious, lying b@$+@rd, deserves to be harassed publicly. He deserves to pilloried. He deserves to be horsewhipped naked through the streets of Washington.

Esaus Message on July 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Bring on the Fair Tax. No more IRS

conservativecaveman on July 22, 2014 at 4:46 PM

John Koskinen, that arrogant, smug, condescending, supercilious, vain, dissembling, prevaricating, deceitful, evasive, mendacious, lying b@$+@rd, deserves to be harassed publicly. He deserves to pilloried. He deserves to be horsewhipped naked through the streets of Washington.

Esaus Message on July 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Tell us what you really think. Don’t hold back. :)

conservativecaveman on July 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM