Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner’s hard drive most likely crashed due to “an impact of some sort,” like somebody hitting it or smashing it, according to new congressional testimony.
Then the hard drive was shredded and its pieces were sold for scrap.
Lerner’s laptop, which crashed on June 11, 2011 between 5 and 7 PM, was sent to an IT technician two days later. The Hewlett-Packard technician looking at her laptop determined that the hard drive failed because of an impact of some sort. (RELATED: Daily Caller Shows How To Destroy A Hard Drive).
“When asked about the possible cause of the hard drive failure, the HP technician opined that heat-related failures are not seen often, and based on the information provided to him, the hard drive more than likely crashed due to an impact of some sort,” according to testimony from the Treasury Inspector general’s investigation of the hard drive, which was submitted today to the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform. “However, because the HP technician did not examine the hard drive as part of his work on the laptop, it could not be determined why it crashed.”
The hard drive was later shredded, according to testimony.
“We determined by obtaining the certificate of destruction dated April 16, 2012, interviews with the facility manager, and a search of the facility, that this shipment of hard drives was destroyed using an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750HD shredder,” according to the inspector general’s testimony. “TIGTA agents observed the shredder in operation and noted that the shredder cut the inserted hard drives into quarter-sized pieces, and according to the facility manager, those pieces are then sold for scrap.”
Meanwhile, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division reported that it could have retrieved the data from Lerner’s hard drive, but IRS management told investigators that such an effort “was not worth the expense.”
The Criminal Investigation Division “noted some scoring on the top platter of the drive, and he believed there were additional steps that could have been taken to attempt to recover data. IRS IT management determined the extra effort to recover data from Ms. Lerner’s hard drive was not worth the expense,” according to the inspector general’s testimony.
The IRS is in possession of thousands of Lerner emails discovered recently at a storage facility in West Virginia, but refuses to turn the emails over the Oversight Committee.
The IRS claims that it is still trying to “de-duplicate” the emails so that Oversight won’t have to sort through multiple copies of the same emails. The IRS claims that “de-duplicating” Lerner’s emails could take a long time. (RELATED: The IRS’ Dumbest Excuse Yet).