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Gone forever? Lois Lerner's hard drive recycled, questionable emails perhaps gone for good

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/19/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Standard government procedure may keep questions unanswered

Controversy has swirled over unfair targeting of conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status. Some questions about that incident may now remain forever unanswered, as ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's (allegedly) crashed hard drive has been recycled. Lost emails regarding the tea party targeting controversy may never be found, sources now say.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California had subpoenaed her damaged hard drive, when he asked for 'all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers' and 'all electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner.'

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California had subpoenaed her damaged hard drive, when he asked for "all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers" and "all electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/19/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Lois Lerner, IRS, investigation, hard drive


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We've been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away," Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee says. Two additional sources have also confirmed this. 

While seen as a standard government procedure, the discovery is seen as significant. Some thought there was a way that tech experts could revive Lerner's emails after they were washed away in a computer crash in the summer of 2011.

Light up the darkness -- by going here --

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California had subpoenaed her damaged hard drive, when he asked for "all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers" and "all electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner."

"IT experts have weighed in and said yes - we can get those" emails, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) said.

This suggests that possibly incriminating emails may have been lost forever. Even the IRS has said its criminal investigators who specialize in rebuilding hard drives to recover hidden information from criminals were unable to restore the data back in 2011. Republicans will not take this news lightly. They remain justifiably furious over the matter and suspect Washington officials drove the selective scrutiny.

The IRS told congressional investigators last week that the emails of Lerner, the former head of the tax exempt division that was found to have singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny, were lost from 2009 to 2011 in a computer hard drive crash in early summer 2011.

IRS chief John Koskinen will face angry Republicans at a hearing later this week.

The purported tea party targeting began in the spring of 2010, and Republicans think if there was a smoking gun connecting the Obama administration to the IRS treatment of conservative groups, it could be found during that period.

"We believe the standard IRS protocol was followed in 2011 for disposing of the broken hard drive. A bad hard drive, like other broken Information Technology equipment, is sent to a recycler as part of our regular process," an IRS spokesman said.

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