Paul L. Caron

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 469

IRS Logo 2Breitbart:  Federal Judge Takes Extraordinaru Steps in IRS Lawsuit:

The order from U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan was certainly clear enough. In a landmark victory for Judicial Watch, the federal judge ordered the IRS to submit sworn declarations detailing what happened to Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails and what steps were being taken to find them. What was provided was a garbled explanation from no less than five IRS officials with more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. ...

These sworn declarations came from five IRS officials: Aaron G. Signor, John H. Minsek, Stephen L. Manning, Timothy P. Camus, and Thomas J. Kane.

We noted that the IRS and DOJ filings seem to treat as a joke Judge Sullivan’s order requiring the IRS to produce details about Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails and any efforts to retrieve and produce them to Judicial Watch as required under law.

This is the story we’re supposed to believe, according to these IRS officials: Lerner’s crashed drive was analyzed by two technicians who employed a variety of tech tactics to recover the data, to no avail. The drives – which, mind you, had no recoverable data according to these experts – were then “degaussed” (wiped clean) “to protect against any possible disclosure of… taxpayer information.” Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the IRS email scandal would have realized that these filings were a blatant continuation of the cover-up.

Well, if there’s one thing I know, it is that most federal courts don’t take kindly to being treated disrespectfully and expected to act like a somnolent member of Congress as administration officials mislead, omit, and play games.

Sure enough, in a stunning move, Judge Sullivan took the extraordinary step of launching an independent inquiry into the issue of Lerner’s missing emails. ...

Judicial Watch has filed hundreds of FOIA lawsuits. I have never seen this type of court action in all my 16 years at Judicial Watch.

Judge Sullivan has already authorized Judicial Watch to submit a request for limited discovery into the missing IRS records after September 10. So stay tuned for further details very soon.

Judge Sullivan took the additional step of appointing Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola to manage and assist in discussions between Judicial Watch and the IRS about how to obtain the missing records. Magistrate Facciola is an expert in e-discovery.

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


You're right Publius, without a doubt.

But it does seem odd that after being asked by their FOIA attorney, the Justice Dept attorney in the True the Vote Case, Congress and TIGTA, no IRS person could "(1) provide information about its efforts, if any, to recover missing Lois Lerner emails from alternate sources (i.e., Blackberry, iPhone, iPad); (2) provide additional information explaining the IRS's policy of tracking inventory through use of bar code property tags...; (3) provide information about the IRS's policy to degauss hard drives...; and (4) provide information about the outside vendor who can verify the IRS's destruction policies concerning hard drives."

Is internal communication within the IRS that bad? Or is it hard to find someone to provide all that in a sworn declaration?

Posted by: YoGabbaGabba | Aug 21, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Ordering a litigant to provide information in addition or supplemental to filed declarations and affidavits is hardly "extraordinary." I represented the IRS in federal court for over 30 years. I can recall numerous times when federal judges asked for additional or supplemental declarations. Judge Sullivan is a fine judge, but ordering the submission of supplemental declarations is neither extraordinary nor a "stunning move." Moreover, several of the questions posed by Judge Sullivan were already addressed in other filings in the True the Vote case; he is simply "getting them on the record" in the case before him.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 21, 2014 8:10:26 AM