IRS warned employees to hide emails relating to targeting Tea Party
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/10/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
According to an email message released on July 9, Lois G. Lerner warned colleagues to be "cautious" about what information they put into emails because it could end up being turned over to Congress as part of the investigation into the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal.
Lois Lerner is being investigated for warning IRS employees to hide information related to the targeting of conservative groups.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The email exchange took place in 2013 between Lerner and fellow employees at the Internal Revenue Service. The email also says that instant message conversations were probably never stored and weren't checked during open-records requests, even though they also fell under laws that required electronic records to be stored.
"I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails-so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails," Lerner wrote in a message from April, 2013.
She asked if instant message communications were stored automatically, a tech staffer said no, though they could be stored if employees copied them, to which she replied "perfect."
Representative Jim Jordan (R. Ohio) was one of the first people to raise the issue about the emails during IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at the July 9 hearing.
"Why did it take us this long to get these emails? We've been after this for six months," he said.
Jordan said that the missing emails were part of Lerner's pattern of trying to hide her activities, following a computer crash which wiped out her hard drive two years earlier, erasing thousands of messages.
Lerner sent her email warning her colleagues to be careful about what they put into email just two weeks after the IRS internal auditor shared a draft report with the agency where it was accused of targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups.
This email was turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, more than a year after lawmakers first sought it as part of their investigation into the IRS's illegal efforts.
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