Transparency! The Treasury investigators told a House committee on Thursday that they have been able to recover 32,000 emails by IRS official Lois Lerner that IRS officials had sworn were lost forever.
[Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration,] said it took investigators two weeks to locate the computer tapes that contained Lerner’s emails. He said it took technicians about four months to find Lerner’s emails on the tapes. Several Oversight Committee members questioned how hard the IRS tried to produce the emails, given how quickly independent investigators found them.
In other words, IRS officials lied to Congress when they said these emails were unrecoverable and couldn’t be found.
Unfortunately, the investigators have not yet gone through these emails in detail, and were not yet prepared to reveal what was in them. For that show we will have to wait a bit longer.
Update: During his testimony Camus also said that they are considering a criminal investigation into whether there was a real cover-up.
The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed. Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.
“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.
Camus also said that when his investigation went to the software people to try to get the tapes, they discovered that IRS officials had never talked to them, demonstrating clearly that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was lying when he said the agency had searched high and low for the tapes and discovered them lost.