James Cole, deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice, testified Thursday that the DOJ heard about the destruction of IRS officials’ emails in the news, even though DOJ has formally been investigating the IRS for more than a year.
“I think we learned about it after that, from press accounts,” Cole told House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan at a hearing Thursday on the DOJ’s response to the wave of computer crashes at the IRS that wiped out seven different employees’ hard drives. (RELATED: Meet The Seven IRS Employees Whose Computer Crashed). DOJ has allegedly been conducting a widely-mocked investigation into the IRS conservative targeting scandal for more than a year, and recently announced that a new investigation is underway into the IRS missing emails.
“So you actually read about it in the press and nobody in the IRS ever went to the Justice Department to give you a heads-up, knowing you were conducting the investigation that some evidence may have been destroyed?,” Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis ventured.
“Not before the 13th of June,” Cole replied.
Cole confirmed at the hearing that DOJ is now “looking into” the IRS commissioner’s delayed response in the IRS emails case.
President Obama previously said that he heard about the Department of Veterans Affairs deadly wait list scandal on the news. He also originally said that he heard about the IRS targeting scandal on the news “along with most of you.”