IRS commissioner tells Congress the agency owes no apologies

Really? Not even just a little bit, just to say, “Sorry about the whole not-retaining-our-records-when-we-demand-that-you-do” sort of thing? IRS Commissioner John Koskinen asserted that the IRS owes no apologies for the curious epidemic of hard-drive failures among officials involved in the targeting scheme, whose e-mails Congress has spent the last year-plus demanding from the IRS:


CAMP: What I didn’t hear in that was an apology to this committee.

KOSKINEN: I don’t think an apology is owed. There are not a single e-mail has been lost since the start of this investigation. Every e-mail has been preserved that we have. WE have produced or will produce by the end of this —

CAMP: You don’t think the time period between January 2009 and April 2011 is relevant to this investigation?

Note well that smirk on Koskinen’s face as he proclaims this, too. We’ll get back to the qualifier Koskinen uses in a moment. Katie Pavlich followed the hearing and reported the exchange on Twitter:!/KatiePavlich/status/479978860176740352!/KatiePavlich/status/479978919848718336

Fox had more:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Friday there is no need for his agency to apologize amid accusations of a cover-up in the targeting scandal of conservative groups after claims surfaced that ex-official Lois Lerner’s hard drive was destroyed and emails from several other officials also have gone missing. …

Committee Republicans now say that the IRS may have known about this for months, and that the agency may have lost emails from another six employees.

“The IRS in charge of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ information. And you’re now saying your technology system was so poor that years’ worth of emails are forever unrecoverable?” Camp charged. “How does that put anyone at ease? How far would the excuse ‘I lost it’ get with the IRS for an average American trying to file their yearly taxes who may have lost a few receipts.”


Read Noah’s post for a litany of reasons why the IRS owes the American public an apology. They may owe one to Orrin Hatch as well. He met with Koskinen on Monday to discuss the sudden revelation of the hard-drive crash in Lois Lerner’s computer, and now says that Koskinen never mentioned during that conversation that six other drives had been similarly destroyed:

Hatch fired off a letter to Koskinen on Thursday voicing concerns that he met with him on Monday, yet the commissioner and his staff did not mention that emails from six other employees might be missing.

Koskinen’s still not sure how many e-mails are missing, either:

The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service refused to apologize to Congress for losing e-mails related to its targeting of conservative groups, saying it’s still attempting to recover the data and it’s too soon to know how many e-mails are missing.

“I don’t think an apology is owed,” Commissioner John Koskinen told the House Ways and Means Committee. “Every e-mail has been preserved that we have.”

Translation: We’ve dutifully saved everything that we, er, saved. Does that fly in a tax audit? I’d bet that smirk wouldn’t. Don’t be surprised if this declaration becomes a hot topic in Monday’s Oversight hearing.


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