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Why did the IRS wipe clean Lois Lerner’s Blackberry?

An excellent question. The answer? The IRS refuses to say.

Among the most pressing is the fact that a Blackberry belonging to Lois Lerner, a former official at the center of the scandal, was wiped clean shortly after investigators started asking questions about her alleged role in the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Despite the fact that this revelation first came to light in August, the IRS has yet explain why this was done.

Considering her former role as chief of the IRS’ tax exempt division, and its proximity to the targeting scandal, the decision to wipe her phone after investigators started asking questions is both suspicious and troubling.

I have to admit I missed this minor detail. In previous examples where the IRS destroyed a hard drive, it was because the hard drive had had problems. The destruction was still illegal, but in at least in that case there was a somewhat reasonable if unlikely reason to do it. With Lerner’s Blackberry they haven’t given us any reason, other than it was done shortly after the investigation had begun.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Cotour

    We will find out where this all goes after the November election if, as is hoped, the Republicans take control of both the Senate in addition to the Congress. What is going on right now is just the stretching of time. And in the end the Republicans may compromise on the issue for some other gain in another area. And we may have to wait until 2017 when Obama and Holder are no longer holding power anyway because no matter what he Congress comes up with related to the breaking of law, the president and Holder will certainly not agree with the findings.

  • Joe

    She’s guilty as hell, that is the only reason for all of her electronics to be swept.

  • wodun

    People have been focusing a lot on emails but she could have had documents on her phone.

  • Edward

    That is what “spoliation of evidence” is all about:

    “it is inferred that a person who destroys such evidence does it with consciousness of guilt.”

    Meaning, of course, that not only is it correct to infer that Lerner is guilty, but that the IRS is, too, as it is doing the hiding or destroying of these items of evidence. We can even infer that the other IRS employees whose emails have been “lost” are also guilty.

    Although many compare this scandal to Watergate, in this case the cover-up is not worse than the original crime of denying people their constitutional rights, which the tax code had been painstakingly written to protect, but they also were obviously influencing a federal (presidential) election. There may also be targeting of people for tax-audit harassment based upon their political activity. As bad as it is (and it *is* bad, especially since the Justice Department is aiding and abetting rather than protecting the rights of We the People), the cover-up is minor in comparison. It is just that we have to get past the cover-up in order to find out how deeply this scandal is rooted within the IRS, Justice Department, and perhaps other agencies.

    The appalling nature and amount of corruption seen in this scandal is also found in other events that have occurred, such as (but hardly limited to) the “Fast and Furious” fiasco, and the Benghazi terrorist attack. Have we ever seen this much corruption in any other administration in US history?

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Yeah – good point ! ! Hadn’t considered that ! !

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