IRS Changes Story on Lost Emails and Hard Drive Crashes

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Hard Drive

In a never ending battle of are there backups of emails or not, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-CA) released the transcription of testimony taken last week which shows that the IRS may just be changing it’s story on whether Lois Lerner’s emails are lost or not.

During the transcribed interview, which occurred on Thursday, July 17, with IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane, who supervises the IRS’s targeting scandal document production to Congress, testified that new information now makes him unsure whether email backup tapes containing the Lerner emails in question actually exist or not.

This does not match up with a memo that was sent on June 13, to Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) by the IRS, which said that the IRS “confirmed that back-up tapes from 2011 no longer exist because they have been recycled.”

According to the release of the testimony by Kane to a Committee investigator:

Investigator: You stated at the time that document was produced to Congress, the document, the white paper in Exhibit 3[the June 13 memo], that it was accurate to the best of your knowledge. Is it still accurate?

Kane: There is an issue as to whether or not there is a – that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule.

Investigator: So some of those backup tapes may still exist?

Kane: I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at.

This is the same testimony where we learned that additional IRS employees had also suffered IRS crashes, as we reported yesterday.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has asked for the committee to end the criticism of Koskinen and ask no further questions. In a letter sent to Issa on Monday from Cummings, he objected to the decision to call IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing on Wednesday, which would make it the third time Koskinen will have appeared before the committee in the past month.

Cummings has been at odds with the IRS investigation since the start, announcing within 30 days of the start of the investigation that it was all over and nothing more needed to be done, which of course was not true. He, himself, has been implicated in being a apart of the targeting scandal, with some accusing him of trying to shut the investigation down so that his role in the targeting would not come out.

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