House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said that the IRS’s erasure of Lois Lerner’s emails is proof that the agency carried out a “deception.”
The IRS reportedly erased ex-IRS official Lerner’s hard drive, which Issa subpoenaed, after her 2011 computer crash, which the agency claimed wiped out selected emails to and from Lerner and other Obama administration agencies and the White House. The White House and those agencies, therefore, would have to voluntarily provide them to congressional investigators.
“If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about ‘losing’ e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception,” Issa said in a statement late Wednesday night.
“Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention,” Issa stated.
The IRS was required by the Federal Records Act to print out Lerner’s emails for record-keeping, which the agency appears not to have done.