Running out the clock

Do controversial IRS e-mails exist? Government answers with delay tactics

It’s a fairly simple question the federal government is unable to answer: Do Lois Lerner’s emails exist?


For months the Internal Revenue Service asserted that the disgraced former employee’s emails were irrevocably lost in a computer crash. Now the Obama administration says the data actually does exist on a special, emergency backup server.

It just doesn’t plan to retrieve them.

That’s according to the president of Judicial Watch, the organization suing the IRS for public records relating to the massive scandal involving conservative organizations targeted for harassment by Lerner and other IRS minions in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential elections.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton last week said Department of Justice lawyers told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan the backup system containing the emails “would be too onerous to search.”

“Everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, about missing emails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it’s all been a pack of malarkey,” Fitton told Fox News. “They could get these records, but they don’t want to.”

However, The Hill reported that “an administration official” with knowledge of the conversation said Judicial Watch was “mischaracterizing what the government had said.” Its source said the lawyers were referring only to the previously disclosed backup system in which Lerner’s emails were destroyed as part of a twice-a-year recycling.

So which is it? Do the emails exist or not? There’s been no definitive answer, and the mainstream media still apparently have no interest in ferreting out the truth in the most repugnant political scandal in generations.

And if the emails do exist, they still haven’t been turned over. For an agency without, in President Obama’s words, “a smidgen of corruption,” it’s running a defensive line that would make a pro football coach proud – block, delay forward movement and hope the clock runs out.

Something the administration can’t easily spin away is the recent acknowledgement by a senior IRS lawyer that Lerner’s BlackBerry – which also held email evidence – was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into the targeting scandal involving Tea Party groups that applied for tax-exempt status.

IRS Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel Thomas Kane wrote in a sworn declaration, part of the Judicial Watch lawsuit, that Lerner’s mobile device was “removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.”

By that time, Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

According to the federal court filing, “there is no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any BlackBerry device assigned to Lois Lerner” according to an IRS technology official.

Funny how the IRS is never this wishy-washy and careless when it comes to collecting your taxes. More corruption masquerading as incompetence.

Block. Delay. Run out the clock.

It’s neither amazing nor surprising why an independent special counsel has not yet been appointed to handle this probe. The White House, which may very well be linked to Lerner through the missing/found/not-going-to-be-retrieved emails, has every reason to stymie this probe with lawyerly tactics as long as possible.

Why else would DOJ attorney Andrew Strelka, who used to work for Lerner’s former Exempt Organizations Division at the IRS, be on the case? Strelka himself was involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to emails from 2010. And until recently, he represented the IRS in civil litigation relating to the targeting.

Why else would the Justice Department refuse to remove Civil Rights Division attorney Barbara Bosserman from the case after repeated conflict-of-interest complaints regarding her sizable donations to Obama’s election campaigns and the Democratic National Committee?

It sounds like the attorneys “investigating” the IRS are those who would be the most skilled and motivated to obfuscate evidence of the crime and its massive cover-up.

Block. Delay. Run out the clock.

The Obama administration is living on borrowed time, and the American people can take comfort in knowing that the truth eventually could be dragged kicking and screaming into the light through the civil case before Judge Sullivan.

In the meantime, sadly, the only thing Americans can count on from the Obama administration is more deceit.



Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:42

Letter: Deal with them fairly

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:42

Letter: Democrats use long division

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:42

Editorial: A win for the good guys

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:42

Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon