Not a ‘smidgen.’ Then we saw this:
It now appears that the IRS was not only engaged in an illegal witch hunt of conservatives applying for tax-exempt status, but that it was actively pushing criminal investigation of already approved groups.
The latest revelations from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation of the IRS are that Lois Lerner sent the Obama Administration’s FBI a 1.1 million document file of then-current 501(c)(4) organizations. This file, given to the FBI just weeks before the 2010 elections, contains legally protected, private taxpayer information. In other words, Lerner and the IRS may have violated federal law by turning over the information to the FBI.
Recently, Lois Lerner emails revealed that she was involved in apparent talks with the Obama Justice Department about pursuing criminal prosecutions of tax-exempt organizations.
In fact, both of these instances revolve around communications between Lerner and Richard Pilger, Director of the DOJ Elections Crimes Branch. It shows an ongoing collusion between the IRS, through Lerner, and the Obama DOJ to criminally prosecute the same types of groups that the IRS was targeting, while the IRS was targeting them.
The fact that the IRS withheld this information from Congress is just further evidence that the Obama Administration’s IRS is stonewalling the truth and is institutionally incapable of investigating itself.
Now that a House panel is pushing further along on the investigation, we suddenly find ourselves facing a…ahem…technical difficulty:
Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.
Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) added, “In the course of the Committee’s investigation, the Administration repeatedly claimed we were getting access to all relevant IRS documents. Only now – thirteen months into the investigation – the IRS reveals that key emails from the time of the targeting have been lost. And they bury that fact deep in an unrelated letter on a Friday afternoon. In that same letter, they urge Congress to end the investigations into IRS wrongdoing. This is not the transparency promised to the American people. If there is no smidgeon of corruption what is the Administration hiding?”
That’s right, they’re claiming Lerner’s hard drive crashed. Hm, okay. So, we have several high-ranking officials in the Obama administration caught dead to rights abusing the power of the IRS to harass and illegally persecute political opponents shortly before a key election, and the precise emails addressing said officials performing said actions were the only things eliminated by a sudden hard drive failure? Riiiiiight…
Lerner’s thoughts on the matter: “Sometimes stuff just happens.”
Mm-hmm. Funny thing, there’s this policy that’s been in place for years called the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that maps out contingencies for precisely this sort of thing. Also, anyone who works in corporate America is well aware that there are copies of emails all over the place – on backups of workstations, on servers, on backup servers, on hot standby redundant servers, on backup tape/optical storage for archive purposes, and so on. I would bet any amount of money that there are at least half a dozen copies of Lerner’s entire “failed” hard drive floating around the Obama administration. This assertion is actually insulting, not to mention over a year later than it should have been made public. You know it’s laughable when even the mainstream media figures it out, which they have.
Okay, what if that’s actually true? What are the implications then?
“One final comment that this particular guy made, he said if there was a cover-up here — let’s just assume for the sake of argument that maybe something went wrong — he said laws have been broken during an alleged coverup that are much easier to prove than the original act, some poor IT schmuck, if you get him under oath, he will fold like a cheap suit, and I do feel like there is some truth to that. So if you call in the IT professionals who supposedly reported the crash and went after the irretrievable material and found they couldn’t be found I think you’d probably get the truth; and maybe the truth is nothing more than what the IRS says, but it’s just strange that they kept the subpoena and official request from Congress for 7-10 months without mentioning it that the emails don’t exist or are that they were gone. And it also then would be exposing a huge vulnerability in our federal computers if indeed data has been irretrievably lost by this. Remember, but the IRS is part of Healthcare.gov, if the IRS system can indeed be so vulnerable that some sort of crash can lose all kind of important data like this, what does t say about the federal system?”
Once again we are forced to confront the question of the Obama administration’s competence versus its corruptness. But seriously, even the most lousy IT department is going to have backups. No one with any credibility whatsoever actually believes this hard drive crash is a legitimate story. No, here’s the deal:
…the truth here is so pathetically obvious that even a Member of Congress can discover it. Lois Lerner did not just “lose” two years of communication. The emails were energetically buried. The hard drive failed all right. They typically wear out after a few blows with a sledgehammer and submersion in a vat filled with battery acid. And the back-ups that every organization technologically advanced enough to operate a server does at least once a week? They have been purged. Otherwise, every last one of those emails would have been available after a week or two of diligent SQL use. They are lying and don’t really care if they insult your intelligence in the process.
It’s such a bald-faced, insulting lie, in fact, that even liberal columnists are calling bull:
The White House is stonewalling the IRS investigation. The most benign explanation is that Obama’s team is politically expedient and arrogant, which makes them desperate to change the subject, and convinced of their institutional innocence. That’s bad enough. But without a fiercely independent investigation, we shouldn’t assume the explanation is benign.
The coup de grace on this non-scandalous scandal pushes beyond just you’re-stupid and launches deep into you’re-literally-dumb-as-a-rock-stupid:
It’s not just Lois Lerner’s e-mails. The Internal Revenue Service says it can’t produce e-mails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.
The IRS recently informed Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany that computer crashes resulted in additional lost e-mails, including from Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal.
That’s a lot of faulty hard drives. Or maybe it’s just a pervasive faulty set of ethics, morals, and corruption infesting the entire Obama administration. The only thing worse than this happening is if the Republicans fail/refuse to pursue it fully. Call me cynical, but I’m not convinced they will. Thus: throw them all out, period.
There’s my two cents.