As Western Journalism reported, the investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups hit a roadblock recently when the agency reported it had lost two years’ worth of email conversations between former official Lois Lerner and other Obama administration insiders. According to recent reports, such correspondences involving other IRS employees linked to the scandal have also vanished.
All of the lost emails have been blamed on a computer hard drive crash; however, many find that excuse suspicious as the officials affected are being investigated. Even if the emails truly have been lost, individuals on both sides of the aisle contend the IRS should not have waited a year to inform the investigating committee.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp expressed his outrage over the development after the IRS announced Lerner’s emails had been lost. The latest development includes records involving six additional employees.
One of those whose emails were reportedly destroyed is Nikole Flax, who reported directly to IRS commissioner Steven Miller during the period in which conservative groups were being targeted. Miller’s occupation of that position was terminated in the scandal’s aftermath.
Both Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany are now calling for a renewed focus on the investigation, including a special prosecutor assigned to look into the IRS’s behavior.
They have also expressed concern that, although the hard drive crash occurred in February, investigators are just now learning of its apparent implications. In a recent statement, the pair alleged the agency is now trying to “cover up the fact that it conveniently lost key documents in the investigation.”
Reporters, including CNN’s John King, have concluded that one must suspend disbelief to buy the official story that these emails no longer exist. Former CBS News anchor Sharyl Attkisson also weighed in on the brewing scandal-with-a-scandal. She explained that an agency as significant as the IRS must have a system in place to protect such internal information.
“These emails are not on a single server or a single computer,” she said; “so if there were a crash of a hard drive or some sort of system failure, they would still be retrievable.”
She cited officials who have told her such losses simply do not happen, suggesting the entire ordeal is likely a cover-up.