WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service's claim that they've lost two years of former IRS director Lois Lerner's emails is absurd, computer experts are saying. Congress has now called on the current IRS director to explain what happened to those emails that span the time frame when the IRS was denying and delaying Tea Party and conservative groups not-for-profit status.
Investor's Business Daily is calling the situation an "obstruction of justice" and likens it to the lost Nixon recording:
The IRS descends into criminal enterprise, with word of a 26-month gap of lost emails from the very period it was illegally targeting Tea Party groups. Computer crash? Try obstruction of justice.
Just as the claim that President Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, inadvertently hit the "erase" button instead of "pause" gave impetus to the drive to impeach Nixon, so too should the IRS announcement that it can't find two years of Lois Lerner's emails lead to a criminal investigation of this administration and creation of a select committee.
Still, not one of the major networks has carried the story about the missing emails. Google shows only one major Chicago news source that has covered the story - ABC 7 TV news - referring to an Associated Press story on Saturday, the day after the IRS announced Lerner's "computer crash."
The Daily Signal, Heritage Foundation's brand new news source, brought on former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkinsson to lead investigative journalism. She's proposed nine questions the IRS should be asked about the missing emails:
- Please provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix. This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.
- Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS’ disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.
- Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why.
- Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?
- Please provide documentation reflecting any security analyses done to assess the impact of the crash and lost materials. If such analyses were not performed, why not?
- Please provide documentation showing the steps taken to recover the material, and the names of all technicians who attempted the recovery.
- Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated.
- Please provide any documents reflecting an investigation into how the crash resulted in the irretrievable loss of federal data and what factors were found to be responsible for the existence of this situation.
- I would also ask for those who discovered and reported the crash to testify under oath, as well as any officials who reported the materials as having been irretrievably lost.
The current IRS commissioner John Koskinen has been summoned by House Oversight Committee chairman Darrel Issa to testify next week before his committee about the lost emails.
The House Ways and Means chairman, Representative Dave Camp, wrote a letter to President Obama Monday asking for “all communications between Lois Lerner and any persons with the executive office of the president” for the period between January 2009 and May 2011, when the lost emails were exchanged, the New York Times reported Tuesday.