One month after it realized it needed them, IRS erased email backups


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Working for the Democratic Party: One month after the IRS realized it had lost many of Lois Lerner emails demanded by a number of investigations looking into the tax agency’s harassment of conservatives, IRS employees erased the backup tapes for those very emails.

The lost emails were to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. In June 2014, the IRS told Congress it had lost an unknown number of Lerner’s emails when her computer hard drive crashed in 2011.

The IRS had discovered that the emails were lost in February 2014. A total of 422 computer backup tapes were erased a month later, George says in his testimony. At the time, IRS officials said the emails could not be recovered.

[IRS Inspector General J. Russell] George says the workers were unaware of a 2013 directive from the agency’s chief technology officer to halt the destruction of email backup tapes. The IRS says it has produced 78,000 Lerner emails, many of which have been made public by congressional investigators. George says his investigators were able to recover more than 1,000 additional Lerner emails. However, he said, as many as 24,000 emails were destroyed when IRS employees erased the computer tapes.

And then there is this: “The investigators, however, concluded that employees erased the tapes by mistake, not as part of an attempt to destroy evidence.”

They really do think we are stupid. This scandal has been a major story for several years, one that every IRS employee has got to be aware of. In March 2014 it was an especially hot story, with IRS commissioner John Koskinen about to testify to Congress about it (which is when he revealed the loss of these emails).

For them to continue to routinely destroy backup tapes at that time, and for their bosses to do nothing to stop them, can only because they wanted those tapes destroyed.

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One comment

  • Edward

    The late great accounting firm of Arthur Andersen was forced out of business for the same reason.

    But for the IRS, it is corruption as usual.

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