Missing IRS Emails Exist After All, DOJ Says

Judicial Watch announced today that Department of Justice lawyers are now saying that all federal government emails are backed up, along with other data, which means that the “missing” emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS employees (as well as federal employees involved in other scandals) can be recovered:

Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.

We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.

This is a jaw-dropping revelation. The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. There are no “missing” Lois Lerner emails – nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be – but dishonestly withheld this information.

Such backup is what one would expect, and it may well be required by federal law. While the amount of data involved would be vast, it is hard to see why it would be particularly onerous to search it. A simple search for “Lois Lerner,” for example, presumably would recover all of her “missing” emails, along with other materials.

Why haven’t we heard about this backup system before? If it is truly government-wide, an enormous number people must be aware of it. Perhaps there is more to the story; so far, all we have is Judicial Watch’s press release. In the meantime, the legal process, which we wrote about here and elsewhere, will grind slowly along.

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