Congress wants proof.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa subpoenaed IRS commissioner John Koskinen Tuesday for ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive and other electronic devices.
The IRS recently claimed that it lost 24,000 emails that Lerner exchanged with other Obama administration agencies and the White House between 2009 and 2011, during the period that Lerner was overseeing the improper targeting of conservative and tea party groups. The IRS claimed that Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011 and the emails were lost. IRS commissioner John Koskinen, however, testified in March that Lerner’s emails were all stored on a computer server.
Issa subpoenaed records and documents including “All back-up tapes, external drives, thumb drives, or other storage media the IRS used to capture, archive, back up, or otherwise record e-mails sent or received by Lois Lerner from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013” and “All electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.”
Issa also subpoenaed information about IRS email collection tactics.
“After a year of beating down efforts by the Obama Administration and its allies to obstruct an investigation into targeting, the IRS now says it lost perhaps the most critical evidence,” Issa said in a statement. “When Commissioner Koskinen testified before the Committee in February, he made no mention of this. It was only earlier this month, during an interview with a Justice Department official, that the Oversight Committee learned about the existence of subpoenaed 2010 Lerner e-mails that the IRS had not produced.”
“While this apparently forced the IRS to cough up an admission, we still do not have answers about how and why the IRS tried to deceive Congress about these missing e-mails,” Issa said. “This subpoena seeks those answers.”