In a late Friday news dump, the IRS announced that they have “lost emails from five other employees related to the probe” of Lois Lerner and the illegal targeting of conservative groups.
The IRS cited computer crashes for the lost e-mails, one of which happened to belong to a senior aide to Lerner, and two more of which belonged to workers in the IRS Cincinnati office – the same office that was originally blamed for having rogue employees who initiated the targeting.
The IRS announced that it lost emails from five more IRS workers relevant to the ongoing investigation into whether the IRS targeted conservative groups. It’s a new black eye for an agency that has had many. It was only a few months ago that the IRS revealed that Lois Lerner’s emails were gone.
Lerner remains the key figure at the heart of the controversy. Now, in another belated announcement, the “we lost five more too” raises new questions why no one seems to know very much. Or maybe they won’t say. When the whole mess came to light, Mr. Lerner refused to testify and was held in contempt of Congress. She could be prosecuted and face jail, though that’s unlikely.
The five employees include a senior aide to Ms. Lerner. Two of the latest 5 IRS employees with “computer crashes” worked in the Cincinnati IRS office processing applications for tax-exempt status. The Cincinnati office, it’s worth remembering, was where those “rogue” employees of the IRS were off supposedly doing their own thing without the say-so of their bosses at the headquarters of the IRS in DC.
Like most of us possessing common sense, Sidney Powell at the Observer thinks this is mighty coincidental.
Perhaps there is some strange computer virus that selectively trashes records inconvenient to incumbents, like the “glitch” that erased part of Nixon’s tapes. How else to explain the fact that this is the fourth announcement of an ever-expanding computer calamity connected to Lois Lerner to emerge from the IRS? First it was just Lerner’s computer that was affected, then those of her closest co-conspirators, then “no more than twenty” computers, and now an ever larger batch of burned out workstations.
Several pundits and observers have already drawn a parallel between the missing e-mails and the eighteen and a half minute gap in the Watergate tapes, allegedly mistakenly caused by Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods.
Powell goes on to suggest which criminal acts have been committed by the IRS specifically due to these computer crashes.
Any number of federal criminal statutes might apply to these facts, including Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1505—Obstruction of proceedings before department, agencies and committees; and Section 1519—Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations. Section 1505 is also a predicate offense for the federal Racketeering Statute, Section 1961, which provides that a “pattern of racketeering activity” can be proved by committing two predicate acts. These statutes are punishable by terms of imprisonment varying from five to twenty years.
America should be fired up on both sides of the aisle. This is above and beyond any Nixonian level targeting of political opponents. The cover-up is even worse. Nixon only lost 18-minutes of the Watergate Tapes. The IRS has lost two years worth of communications for over 20 employees involved in the targeting scheme.