Paul L. Caron

Friday, November 7, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 547

IRS Logo 2Legal Insurrection:  Judicial Watch:  IRS “Did Not Undertake Any Significant Efforts to Obtain” Missing Lerner Emails:

Democrats who had hoped for at least a week to sleep off their election night hangovers are getting no rest after the latest disclosure of court documents by advocacy group Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch has spent a great deal of time and resources seeking information about the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

In September, Judicial Watch asked the court for permission to conduct discovery into how “lost and/or destroyed” records might be recovered; the IRS is fighting transparency efforts, but their latest response to the discovery request contains inconsistencies that could pull the rug out from under IRS officials responsible for the cover up.

Via Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch lawyers reviewed the IRS court filings and concluded that the agency “did not undertake any significant efforts to obtain the emails.”

IRS attorneys conceded that they had failed to search the agency’s servers for missing emails because they decided that “the servers would not result in the recovery of any information.” They admitted they had failed to search the agency’s disaster recovery tapes because they had “no reason to believe that the tapes are a potential source of recovering” the missing emails. And they conceded that they had not searched the government-wide back-up system because they had “no reason to believe such a system … even exists.”

But what’s this? The inconvenient truth, documented for all time courtesy of court filings? [Emphasis in bold mine:]

The IRS admitted to Judge Sullivan that the agency failed to “submit declarations about any of the foregoing items because it had no reason to believe that they were sources from which to recover information lost as a result of Lerner’s hard drive failure.” [Emphasis added] Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS had previously told Judicial Watch that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. In the October federal court filing, the IRS does not deny that the government-wide back-up system exists, and acknowledges to the court that 760 other email “servers” have been discovered but had not been searched.

The IRS also refuses to disclose the names of the IRS officials who may have information about the IRS scandal, citing unspecified threats. The IRS says it pulled documents about the scandal from various employees into a “Congressional database” and that it has only searched this one “database” for missing records. Incredibly, the IRS has not searched any of the IRS’s regular computer systems for any missing records and admits that it has only searched a “database” that it knows does not contain the missing records being sought by the court, Judicial Watch, and Congress.

After two years of fighting, it has become clear to the attorneys at Judicial Watch and to the public that this administration is not interested in transparency as to the IRS targeting of conservatives.

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


Senate Select Committee...just like's needed.

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Nov 7, 2014 12:46:53 PM

"…not interested in transparency." Or stated in the positive: actively interested in zero transparency.

Posted by: richard | Nov 7, 2014 8:22:06 AM

Why are we still talking about this old “news” from Judicial Watch? The italicized and bolded language refers to a Friday afternoon telephone conversation between one of JW’s lawyers and a DOJ lawyer representing the IRS in the FOIA lawsuit. On the following Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, Commissioner Koskinen testified under oath before the Camp Committee as follows: “It appears these reports are based on a misunderstanding of an informal conversation by a litigant with an employee of the Department of Justice. There is no system outside the IRS—government or otherwise—that the IRS uses to store emails.” That should have put the allegations to rest, but of course conservatives have decreed that nothing said by any official or employee of the IRS can be believed. At the same time, no evidence of the alleged government-wide email back-up system has been produced by anyone. The bottom line is that one of JW’s lawyers jumped to an unwarranted conclusion that has no basis in fact.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Nov 7, 2014 7:59:33 AM