On the lost IRS emails

Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal column yesterday took a look at the “lost” IRS emails. Strassel’s column is behind the Journal’s subscription paywall but easily accessible via Google. If you missed it, however, Walter Olson extracted this nugget:

According to Strassel’s column today, the contents of Lois Lerner’s hard drive were wiped out by forces unknown “about 10 days after the Camp letter arrived,” that is to say, a letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp inquiring into targeting of conservative groups. (Lerner then replied to Camp denying targeting and subsequently pleaded the Fifth before Congress.)

Olson paired that nugget with this one from a related Journal editorial (also behind the Journal’s subscription paywall):

A WSJ editorial this morning points out the remarkable timing of the IRS’s begrudging disclosure last Friday [June 13] that evidence central to the case has been destroyed: more than a year after the investigation began and only when a deadline was impending in which the IRS commissioner would have to certify personally that the agency had produced to Congress all relevant communications. Were responsible agency officials determined to treat this as a high-priority investigation, to be carried on in good faith and with all deliberate speed? (There was no doubt about the seriousness of the scandal, as President Obama himself admitted—or seemed to be admitting—at the time.) Or did they instead stall and deflect until the very last moment? So un-forthcoming was the agency that, according to today’s Journal editorial, IRS staffers met with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) Monday and did not tell him that the external emails of six other IRS employees had gone missing too—he found that out only later in the week when he read a press release from the House side.

Olson has more here.


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