The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claimed Friday that it cannot produce Lois Lerner’s emails to and from the White House and other administration departments due to a supposed computer crash.
The IRS previously agreed to hand over all of the ex-IRS official’s emails from 2009 to 2011 to the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Dave Camp. But the IRS claimed Friday that it has Lerner’s emails to and from other IRS officials but it cannot produce emails to and from the Treasury and Justice Departments, the Federal Election Commission, or Democratic offices.
The IRS’ computer crash may go down in history next to the eighteen and a half minute gap in the Watergate tapes, which was supposedly caused by a mistake by Richard Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods.
“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries,” Camp said in a statement. “There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.”
“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents,” Camp continued. “It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”