Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 768

IRS Logo 2Daily Caller, IRS Finds 6,400 New Lois Lerner Emails…Gives DUMBEST EXCUSE YET For Not Releasing Them:

The Internal Revenue Service found 6,400 more Lois Lerner emails — but they’re not handing them over in court.

The IRS’ latest excuses are nothing short of infuriating.

Department of Justice lawyers Geoffrey J. Klimas and Stephanie Sasarak, acting as counsel for the IRS, submitted a U.S. District Court filing June 12 in the case Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service. The court filing, provided to The Daily Caller, claims the IRS received new Lerner emails from the Treasury Department’s inspector general (TIGTA) but can’t fork over the emails to Judicial Watch, a nonprofit group suing to get the emails. Why? Because the IRS is busy making sure that none of the emails are duplicates  – you know, so as not to waste anyone’s time.

However, the inspector general already made sure that none of the emails were duplicates, so the IRS’ latest excuse falls flat.

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


Mr. Wodun: You really don’t seem to grasp the facts very well. It is not the IRS who is turning over the LLerner emails to the investigators. It is the investigators who retrieved the emails from the backup tapes who are turning them over to the congressional tax-writing committees and to the IRS. The IRS lacked either the institutional ability, the knowledge, or the resources (or some combination of the three) to retrieve readable data from the backup tapes. TIGTA retrieved the emails, through means yet undescribed, and is providing them to the IRS.

Second, I do not understand your “altered-unaltered” dichotomy. Email strings are constantly being “altered,” as you put it. Recipients respond to emails, and responding recipients add further responses. Obviously, later emails will contain more information than earlier emails. In context, those would not seem to be “alterations” or “discrepancies,” but rather the normal development of the email string. So what are you positing?

Third, your Hillary/State Department comparison makes no sense. Do you read what you write before you post?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jun 18, 2015 7:40:31 AM

Publius, that makes it sound better, and shows how the press is getting the situation wrong, but after finding the documents, I don't find the IRS coming out looking better. It's really true, as you admit, that the IRS says it has to repeat what TIGTA did in eliminating duplicates and redacting, and says it has to take months and months to do that. (How long did it take TIGTA? Two weeks, just with TIGTA's small staff?)

From PACER, the June 4 order is indeed not to produce the documents, just to report monthly on progress in producing documents:

"MINUTE ORDER. The IRS is directed to respond to 45 the plaintiff's notice by no later than June 12, 2015. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on June 4, 2015. (lcegs2) (Entered: 06/04/2015)"

Item 45 is Judicial Watch's June 2 request (on the web at for "clarification as to whether all emails that have been recovered by TIGTA have now been turned over to the IRS for review and processing in response to Plaintiff’s request, the volume of those emails, and the time frame in which the IRS anticipates completing its review and production of responsive emails." That's what the press go wrong--- the judge's order was for this clarification, not yet for the documents themselves.

The IRS's response has been linked by the press and I just posted it at with text-recognized for cutting and pasting. The relevant items are slipped in at the end:

"16. Prior to providing the Service with the approximately 6,400 forensically-recovered
emails, TIGTA identified and removed emails which appear to be duplicates of those which the Service has already produced to the Congressional Committees or were duplicates of other
recovered emails. Such emails are also duplicates of those the Service has already retrieved in
connection with responding to the FOIA requests at issue in this case. The Service is in the
process of conducting further manual deduplication of the 6,400 forensically-recovered emails to
supplement the automated deduplication conducted by TIGTA. TIGTA also is further reviewing
the 6,400 emails to verify that they were not already produced to the Congressional Committees
by the Service.

17. The Service expects to begin processing and reviewing the recovered emails
immediately following its review and production of Lerner communications which were not
forensically recovered. At this time, the Service is unable to estimate when it will finish processing and reviewing the forensically-recovered emails."

This is the ridiculous "We have to duplicate the deduplication" excuse (16) combined with the "But we won't start that till we've finished work on some other much slower stuff" excuse (17).

Judicial Watch's June 15 response is up at

"7. Judicial Watch respectfully requests that the Court order the IRS to start producing
any non-exempt, responsive emails contained within the 6,400 emails immediately and disclose
whether they are all or a subset of the recovered emails from the 1,268 backup tapes.

8. Further, Judicial Watch respectfully requests that the Court order the IRS to file
monthly status reports about its progress of the production of non-exempt, responsive emails that
were placed in the Congressional database two years ago, the 6,400 recovered emails and any
additional emails that may be recovered by TIGTA from the 1,268 backup tapes."

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Jun 16, 2015 2:02:22 PM

The IRS should turn over all emails in their original form to the investigators so that discrepancies between unaltered and altered emails can be looked for.

Sort of like how Hillary and the State Department turned in different subpoenaed emails than Sidney Blumenthal showing Hillary left out important documents.

Posted by: wodun | Jun 16, 2015 1:08:13 PM

"2. The IRS is not refusing to turn over LLerner emails "

Of course, they are only delaying their release as part of a coordinated effort to cover up wrong doing and stonewall the investigation.

The Obama administration is trying to run the clock out on the statute of limitations.

It's all very transparent.

Posted by: wodun | Jun 16, 2015 1:06:28 PM

Mr. Russell: You refer to a claim that the IRS needs "time to eliminate duplicate emails that have already been deleted." Do you even know hat that means?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jun 16, 2015 10:02:55 AM

And Publis again defends the IRS by repeating their lies. Notably the claim that they need time to eliminate duplicate emails that have already been deleted.

Posted by: Andrew Russell | Jun 16, 2015 9:42:10 AM

The IRS has been completely politicized. From their leadership (The guy that looks like Mr. Magoo) down to their staffers...the IRS have demonstrated over the last two years that they are part and parcel of the Democrat party. Their stonewalling makes John Mitchell's efforts to save Nixon look amateurish. The difference this time is that most of the media are with Obama and the Nixon's case the media mostly hated him. The secondary scandal here is the MSM's lack of attention to this huge criminal and political scandal. The media should be ashamed.

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Jun 16, 2015 8:45:52 AM

1. The IRS did not miss a court-ordered deadline to turn over documents to JW. Judge Sullivan’s June 4, 2015 order required the IRS to report on the status of its processing of the emails supplied to it by TIGTA; there was no requirement in the order that any emails be released to JW or supplied to the Court. The IRS responded in a timely manner on June 12, 2015.

2. The IRS is not refusing to turn over LLerner emails and says nothing of the sort in the June 12, 2015 response. Nor is it delaying turning over emails. Read the response carefully.

3. The IRS has not completed processing the LLerner emails for possible release to JW. The emails must be redacted to remove exempt matter–in particular, 3d-party tax return information that JW is not authorized to receive–before releasing any emails to JW.

4. Determining which of the emails are duplicative is important to the redaction process, primarily to ensure that redactions of duplicates are not inconsistent. The best way to minimize inconsistent redactions is to identify duplicates.

5. Many of the emails may be partial duplicates. In other words, as email strings grow, the earlier portions of the string are duplicated over and over. This multiplier effect increases the difficulty of identifying duplicated portions and the possibility of redaction errors.

6. JW is not the agent of the House and Senate committees. The tax-writing committees are authorized to receive 3d-party return information in the emails, unlike JW. In other words, the House and Senate tax-writing committees will receive greater access to the emails than will JW.

7. Take a deep breath. Count to 10. Now let it out slowly.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jun 16, 2015 8:21:45 AM