At a March 26th hearing in front of Congress, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was repeatedly asked by Chairman Darrell Issa if he would provide “all of the e-mails” for Lois Lerner and other officials at the Department. After significant prying, Koskinen finally relents and says “we never said we wouldn’t produce those e-mails.”
Less than three weeks later, the commissioner would announce in a letter suggesting that Congress drop the investigation altogether, that the IRS had lost a significant portion of the e-mails due to a computer crash.
The computer crash claim is curious in that it only affected e-mails between Lerner and outside organizations, but not internal correspondence. The missing e-mails encompass that same time frame as the midterm elections, running from January of 2009 to April, 2011.
The IRS commissioner testified on March 26th that they would essentially agree to provide “all of the e-mails,” and on June 15th revealed the e-mails were lost. So did the IRS Commissioner find out during that timeframe?
CNN reports that “… the House Ways and Means Committee insists that on that same day, the IRS told them it knew about the problem in February.”
Issa’s office released a statement in response to the IRS commissioner. Issa skeptically states that the sudden realization that Lerner’s e-mails were lost is “convenient for the Obama Administration.” He added, “Do they really expect the American people to believe that, after having withheld these emails for a year, they’re just now realizing the most critical time period is missing?”
Issa would also question why the White House would “play these games” if not for the possibility that there was “nefarious conduct that went much higher than Lois Lerner in the IRS targeting scandal.