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IRS Says It Lost Two Years Worth Of Lois Lerner’s E-Mail

Lois Lerner

The Internal Revenue Service is now claiming that it has lost nearly two years worth of e-mail sent and received by Lois Lerner, the woman who remains at the center of the various probes into alleged targeting of conservative groups by the agency:

WASHINGTON—The Internal Revenue Service said a former official’s 2011 computer crash significantly hampered its efforts to dig up correspondence requested as part of a congressional review of the agency’s treatment of conservative groups.

The IRS said it is providing more emails to lawmakers and is doing its best to reconstruct correspondence from the former executive, Lois Lerner, who retired as the controversy unfolded last year. Its effort, which has included searching email of other senders and recipients, resulted in an additional 24,000 emails that are being provided to lawmakers, the agency said in a summary of its actions.

House Republicans investigating the IRS controversy reacted unhappily to the news of Ms. Lerner’s computer crash.

“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to congressional inquiries,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said. “There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by the Justice Department as well as the inspector general.”

Mr. Camp said the IRS couldn’t provide Lerner emails to and from people outside the agency, “conveniently” feeding the impression she “acted alone.” He called for an administration-wide search for her emails. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said, “If there wasn’t nefarious conduct that went much higher than Lois Lerner in the IRS targeting scandal, why are they playing these games?”

Ms. Lerner herself unsuccessfully tried to get agency technicians to reconstruct her hard drive at the time it crashed, the IRS said.

(…)

In a statement, the IRS said that it has made “unprecedented efforts” to comply with congressional demands for documents and information concerning the targeting. The effort has involved more than 250 IRS employees working more than 120,000 hours at a cost of almost $10 million.

Counting information already provided, “investigators have—or will soon have—a total of 67,000 emails sent or received by Ms. Lerner,” the IRS said.

The agency added that it is working with Congress and “has remained focused on being thorough and responding as quickly as possible to the wide-ranging requests from Congress while taking steps to protect underlying taxpayer information.”

House Ways And Means Committee Chairman David Camp released a statement late yesterday after the announcement was made:

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011.  Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame.  The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices. 

“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries.  There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.  

“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents.  It appears now that was an empty promise.  Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies.  Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone.  This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner.  The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials.  It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”

Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) added, “In the course of the Committee’s investigation, the Administration repeatedly claimed we were getting access to all relevant IRS documents. Only now – thirteen months into the investigation – the IRS reveals that key emails from the time of the targeting have been lost.  And they bury that fact deep in an unrelated letter on a Friday afternoon.  In that same letter, they urge Congress to end the investigations into IRS wrongdoing. This is not the transparency promised to the American people.  If there is no smidgeon of corruption what is the Administration hiding?”

The reaction to this news from the right isn’t all that surprising, with several bloggers making reference to the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap in the Nixon Oval Office tapes that played a central role in the Watergate scandal. The implication, obviously, being that the loss of the emails is just a little too convenient and that, potentially we’re looking at the destruction of evidence pointing toward communication between Lerner and other outside groups regarding the evaluation of 501(c)(4) applications from conservative organizations. National Journal’s Ron Fournier goes so far as to suggest that this latest incident justifies the appointment of a special prosecutor from outside the Justice Department to investigate but the overall accusations of political targeting and this latest incident.

The reaction strikes me as being fairly reasonable when taken in the context of the investigation. IRS officials from the Commissioner on down had previously told the committees investigating this matter that they had all of Lerner’s emails and that they would be produced as soon as they could be made available. Indeed, that’s an assurance that was made on several points over the course of the past year. A sudden announcement that some unknown portion of these communications have been mysteriously “lost” is obviously going to raise suspicion and even if those suspicions prove to be unfounded, they do raise several legitimate concerns. For example, Federal recordkeeping laws require government agencies such as the IRS to maintain copies of all communications, including electronic communications, for a certain person of time. One part of those laws prohibits official business from being conducted in a manner so as to avoid standard backup and storage systems, which would mean that Lerner should not have been communicating with outside groups about IRS business on her personal computer unless those communications were being backed up along with all other communications. Indeed, politicians at several levels of government and in both parties have gotten into trouble when it was discovered that their staff was using non-government email to communicate about government business. If that’s a common occurrence at the IRS, then it’s a problem that reaches beyond Lois Lerner because it makes it harder for Congress to conduct its necessary oversight functions.

It’s more likely that the explanation for this latest episode has more to do with bureaucratic incompetence than nefarious motives, of course, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be justified to think that this sudden loss of records is just a little too coincidental. If nothing else, another avenue of investigation has been opened.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let me jump ahead of the curve on this one with my speculation:

    What obviously happened was that a GOP mole in the IRS, probably a Bush appointee, got into Lerner’s e-mails and discovered conclusive proof that this was all a phony scandal. So, in order to keep the phony scandal alive, they deleted all the e-mails. Thus the only fair thing to do is to assume that the e-mails were exonerating to Lerner, apologize to her, and launch an investigation to find that GOP mole. The second-fairest thing to do would be to say that since we can never know what those e-mails said, we should discount their very existence and go solely on the evidence that the IRS has divulged so far (keeping in mind that there may be a lot more exculpatory information that the mole has also deleted, and must be factored in).

    So, combined with the circumstantial nature of the evidence indicating the IRS was acting badly, we can safely conclude that this was a big ol’ nothingburger, a nontroversy, ginned up by the racist GOP.

    And Holder will assign Top Men to find this mole, and Obama Will Not Rest until he or she is found and punished.

    There, I think I just saved most of the regular gang of commenters a whole lot of effort.

    You’re welcome.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 27

  2. Tyrell says:

    “What else is missing?” Well, we can add this to the missing minutes of the Watergate tapes. And, even more famous – the missing pages of Booth’s diary (probably in a file stored away in some storage area in Washington). There are more famous missing parts of history. What are some others that you can think of ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. bill says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: or maybe rosemary woods kin were part of her tech support?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Hahahaha…perfect.
    It’s important to feed the conspiracy theorists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Seriously for a minute… what happens in a court case where one side is ordered to produce documents that it says it has, then later say “oops, they’re gone?” Aren’t juries instructed tthat they can assume that the vanished evidence was harmful to the side that oopsed them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  6. James Pearce says:

    This kind of thing happens if you store your e-mail archive on a computer’s hard drive. When it crashes….it’s just gone.

    For example, Federal recordkeeping laws require government agencies such as the IRS to maintain copies of all communications, including electronic communications, for a certain person of time.

    Rules like this indicates a better back-up and recovery plan should already be in place. We might want to ask Raytheon or whoever has the IT contract why it wasn’t.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  7. Tyrell says:

    @James Pearce: Computer problems: maybe its time to replace all those Commodore computers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  8. Rafer Janders says:

    The reaction to this news from the right isn’t all that surprising, with several bloggers making reference to the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap in the Nixon Oval Office tapes that played a central role in the Watergate scandal.

    I don’t know why you’d have to go all the way back to Nixon when there’s a much more recent example:

    The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007, during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act.[1] Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted.[2][3] Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations.[4] In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.[5]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_email_controversy

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 6

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Between Obamacare and Benghazi and the IRS Republicans have wasted years and tens of millions of dollars. Of course we also saw this with the whole Clinton blow job thing.
    And for what? Absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada.
    But this will give them an excuse to waste more time and more money. Which appears to be all they are capable of doing.
    Pursue your bliss, GOP.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 17

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: Crap, I can’t believe I forgot the whole “blame Bush/Bush did it first!!!!!” angle. You have shamed me, sir, and I offer no excuses for my lapse.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 21

  11. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Crap, I can’t believe we forgot the whole “it was absolutely okay when Bush did it, but now that Obama’s done it, it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened in the history of this country”.

    I’m not saying that deleting or “losing” emails is a good thing – if it turns out someone “lost” them on purpose, let’s throw them in jail. I’m just saying that idiots like you don’t get to open your piehole and complain about it when you were just fine when Bush did it and didn’t say a peep about it then.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 14

  12. rudderpedals says:

    Ms. Lerner herself unsuccessfully tried to get agency technicians to reconstruct her hard drive at the time it crashed, the IRS said.

    Which would be consistent with trying to recover exculpatory evidence. Whatever.

    (National Journal’s Ron Fournier is too predictable)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  13. stonetools says:

    Well, I know that a computer never, ever crashes causing the loss of data. Something like that is truly unprecedented in the annals of computing….

    More seriously, the lede buries the fact that IRS does have a lot of Lerner emails from the period in question:

    Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    OK, here’s a sincere, honest, open response to the “Bush did it first” argument, one that I wish I had thought of a long, long time ago, in one word:

    “So?”

    When you bring that up, are you arguing that:

    1) Since Bush did it, it’s OK that Obama does it?

    2) Since Bush did it, certain people (like me) aren’t allowed to address it when Obama does it?

    3) Something else?

    Too bad I gotta go away for a few hours, ‘cuz I have a few more thoughts (and a second amateur sociological experiment I might try), but I’ll have to check back in a bit later…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 13

  15. Just Me says:

    2 years is a lot of data to have lost-especially discovering it’s lost now when congress asked for it over a year ago.

    It’s interesting that the list emails are only those that were to outside groups/offices. I’m curious how the civil court judges view the lost emails when the various conservative groups’ suits start seriously hitting the courts.

    This administration is great at lying and it’s a good thing they have the media to run interference for them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 12

  16. Tech Support says:

    Really? You think people store their e-mails on their C Drive these days? Or that they send official business e-mails from their MSN accounts as Lerner did?

    There are records retention guidelines for everyone. Government. Private companies. And you too if the IRS decides to audit you. You aren’t allowed to say “the dog at my receipts for the period you’re investigating”. The IRS is not going to insouciantly understand that these things happen.

    Everyt e-mail sent from a government e-mail address is being held on a government server if it was sent. If not in the server where it was sent then on the server where it was received. She pleaded the 5th. She knows she was colluding with DoJ to try and wrangle up prosecutions against people whose beliefs were at odds with her’s and Holder’s.

    What is unsurprising is the usual commenters here who endorse government corruption, evidence tampering, obstruction, and destruction of evidence as long as it’s their team doing it.

    You have no moral standing or high ground on any issue. That I assure you.

    Nixon’s dreams of abuse of power are Obama’s reality.

    Not to worry, this will all be a distraction when gas skyrockets over the next month thanks to President LPGA golfing through one crisis to the next.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 23

  17. beth says:

    @Tech Support:

    She knows she was colluding with DoJ to try and wrangle up prosecutions against people whose beliefs were at odds with her’s and Holder’s.

    Oh, has the rightwing nuttiness over this devolved from “not granting tax exempt status” to “wrangling up prosecutions”? I didn’t know there had been any criminal charges filed against anyone based on their tax exempt applications. Hey, maybe she took down Flight 370?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 10

  18. Grumpy Realist says:

    I actually sort of believe it. We ended up getting into a mess because the back-up AND the back-up to the backup decided to crash. Luckily we’ve got an ultra-paranoid tech support person, so he was able to recover from the backup to the backup to the backup…

    And given what I’ve seen the USPTO data systems do, am not surprised about the fragmentation of email….

    Am somewhat surprised they hadn’t checked this earlier. Unless this was a recent and.new request?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  19. beth says:

    @Grumpy Realist: I don’t know – on one hand I find it really hard to believe that the IRS servers don’t have a back-up to these emails but on the other hand, this is the week I discovered the VA is using computers from 1985. So who knows?

    One thing I will say to Tech Support – do you believe that the Bush administration deleted those emails about the firing of the prosecutors on purpose? Should we open an investigation and criminally charge some people for that? Or do you think they may have been mistakenly or accidentally deleted in a computer/human error? If so, why not give the benefit of the doubt to this administration too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  20. DrDaveT says:

    I love the way the IRS is supposed to be so incompetent they can’t do even the tiniest thing right, and yet at the same time so nefariously devious and subtle that they knew 3 years in advance exactly which block of time to mysteriously lose in a fake “computer crash” so that they wouldn’t be able to provide those emails to the Congressional investigation that was going to ask for them.

    If Camp or Issa had ever worked a job where they were at the mercy of federal government IT support, they would be amazed that any records at all survive from 3 years ago and can be located.

    And I’m sorry, the whole “why did they wait this long to tell us if they’re not being devious?” thing is stupid. They waited this long because they just found out. They just found out because they’re working their way backwards through 70,000 emails (so far), each of which must be individually reviewed and redacted for disclosure so as not to violate any of the hundreds of pages of disclosure rules Congress has gifted the IRS with.

    120,000 hours, $10 million. They failed to mention the opportunity cost — all of the real work that is piling up while these 250 employees put their real jobs on hold to feed the Congressional maw. If the investigation hasn’t already done more harm than the thing they’re investigating, it will soon.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 8

  21. Tech Support says:

    Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth. They were trying to find a path to prosecutions. But here’s the research you’re clearly to lazy to do yourself:

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/jw-obtains-irs-documents-showing-lerner-contact-doj-potential-prosecution-tax-exempt-groups/

    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released a new batch of internal IRS documents revealing that former IRS official Lois Lerner communicated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether it was possible to criminally prosecute certain tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after the agency refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May 2013.

    The newly released IRS documents contain an email exchange between Lerner and Nikole C. Flax, then-Chief of Staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller discussing plans to work with the DOJ to prosecute nonprofit groups that “lied” (Lerner’s quotation marks) about political activities. The exchange includes the following:

    May 8, 2013: Lerner to Flax
    I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.

    I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…

    May 9, 2013: Flax to Lerner
    I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?

    Lerner then “handed off” scheduling the issue to Senior Technical Adviser, Attorney Nancy Marks, who was then supposed to set up the meeting with the DOJ. Lerner also decided that it would be DOJ’s decision as to whether representatives from the Federal Election Commission would attend.

    Democratic Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse had held a hearing on April 9during which, “in questioning the witnesses from DOJ and IRS, Whitehouse asked why they have not prosecuted 501(c)(4) groups that have seemingly made false statements about their political activities.” Lerner described the impetus for this hearing in a March 27, 2013, email to top IRS staff:

    As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.

    So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity

    But in an email sent a few minutes earlier, Lerner acknowledged prosecutions would evidently be at odds with the law:

    Whether there was a false statement or fraud regarding an [sic] description of an alleged political expenditure that doesn’t say vote for or vote against is not realistic under current law. Everyone is looking for a magic bullet or scapegoat — there isn’t one. The law in this area is just hard.

    (end quote)

    “Alleged” political expenditure. Let’s just look into finding something to prosecute one of them to set an example out of those groups we already admitted that we unfairly targeted.

    Oops. Deleted all my e-mails. My bad. Heh. Scumbags.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 51

  22. beth says:

    @Tech Support:

    Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth.

    Oh, you’re just an asshole. Sorry.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 9

  23. wr says:

    @Just Me: “It’s interesting that the list emails are only those that were to outside groups/offices.”

    It’s interesting… until you give it two seconds’ thought and realize that the reason the internal emails aren’t lost is because they’re on the IRS servers and in the accounts of the IRS employees who received them, while it’s impossible to know whom she might have emailed out of the agency.

    Of course all these moron conspiracies are interesting until you actually think them through for two seconds.

    The question that’s really interesting is why you don’t bother to spend those two seconds…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 5

  24. James Pearce says:

    @Tech Support:

    What is unsurprising is the usual commenters here who endorse government corruption, evidence tampering, obstruction, and destruction of evidence as long as it’s their team doing it.

    Evidence tampering?

    Try routine incompetence and institutional laziness.

    @DrDaveT:

    “yet at the same time so nefariously devious and subtle that they knew 3 years in advance exactly which block of time to mysteriously lose in a fake “computer crash” so that they wouldn’t be able to provide those emails to the Congressional investigation that was going to ask for them.”

    Hilarious! The conspiratorial mind is very adept at making sense of the nonsensical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  25. James Pearce says:

    @Tech Support:

    Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth.

    Pro-tip: Don’t do that.

    Proer-tip: Don’t do that here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 5

  26. beth says:

    @James Pearce: The funny part is that he tried to prove Lerner was colluding with Justice to prosecute conservative groups by posting a quote of Lerner telling Justice they had no grounds to prosecute. Interesting tactic on her part.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  27. stonetools says:

    @beth:

    Ah, but that was just a clever ruse by her to deflect suspicion… like how Lee Harvey Oswald pretended to be Marxist in order to deflect suspicion from his true masters…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @beth: I never, ever will be surprised at what the government will do ever since right in the middle of a patent prosecution the USPTO suddenly decided that our address was somewhere unknown in Hong Kong….

    (And let’s not get into the incompetence exhibited daily by corporations, by the way. I’m sure all of us have equivalent stories about U.S. airlines, Comcast, our banks, and so forth.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  29. Tyrell says:

    Strange how they lost that huge amount of information yet manage to keep my tax returns from six years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  30. The Internal Revenue Service said a former official’s 2011 computer crash significantly hampered its efforts to dig up correspondence requested as part of a congressional review of the agency’s treatment of conservative groups.

    Wait… So they want us to believe that each individual employee has an personal email server on their individual machine, rather than a centralized e-mail server that stores everyone’s e-mail?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @Tech Support:
    Out of bounds…go back to your wing nut websites where uncouth is de riguer.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 7

  32. Tech Support says:

    Yep. I’m just an asshole and you’re just a bitch. I can admit it what I am. Don’t live in denial, honey.

    Before your tu quoque on Bush e-mails, there was the ad hominem::

    Oh, has the rightwing nuttiness over this devolved from “not granting tax exempt status” to “wrangling up prosecutions”? I didn’t know there had been any criminal charges filed against anyone based on their tax exempt applications. Hey, maybe she took down Flight 370?

    Just crazy talk I say! Rightwing nuttiness.

    Lerner actively sought out DoJ to see if they could make an example out of someone. Anyone. For what she described as “alleged” political activity and that it would be hard to prove. But, you know, if you need any help. To this day, they are still trying to blame low-level functionaries in Cincinnati. So which is it? It wasn’t lickspittle minions in Ohio going on this fishing expedition.

    I’ve had e-mails subpoenaed a dozen times in as many years and never, not once, have I been unable to produce them. Nothing like being hauled in front of Congressional hearing. It is a requirement. Sending company business and having business discussions on my private e-mail would have been a red flag for auditors and definitely for opposing counsel.

    You can say “don’t assign to malice what can be attritbuted to incompetence” but this isn’t the temp working the front desk. She’s the Director overseeing these orgs. She knew exactly what she was doing.

    She was asked by a number of Democrats to target these groups and she obeyed her hopefully future paymasters with OFA.

    Just babes in the woods, I guess. How they tie their shoes in the morning we’ll never know. So ignorant and incompetent they are. :P

    I forget where I am sometimes. This oasis of reasoned debate.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 43

  33. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The e-mail server only stores up to a specified amount per user. Once you hit that amount you get warnings and in some organizations your ability to send e-mail will be cut off until you delete some or move them off the server.

    If they’re using MS Outlook, a user may have a .pst file (or two or three) on their local machine that is used to archive e-mails the user has moved off the server. I have three, they store e-mails going back about 11 years. I back them up to an external drive every so often, so if my computer’s hard drive crashes or we need to upgrade from Win XP to Win 7 like we did a couple months ago I don’t lose them.

    Now my company has an offsite backup service that we can use to lessen the load on our internal e-mail servers and not have to worry so much about backing up our personal .pst files.

    Sounds to me like Lerner had a .pst file she wasn’t too careful with and when her computer’s hard drive blew up she lost that file.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  34. Just Me says:
  35. @Mikey:

    That may how it works in the private sector, but in the government you can’t just destroy e-mail because it’s taking up too much space or it’s older than a certain date; doing so violates numerous federal laws and regulations:

    http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/laws/

    The IRS is required to maintain a records management program to determine which e-mails are considered records and which aren’t, and maintain an archive of all records, which are eventually turned over to the National Archives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  36. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Oh, whoops, I didn’t get your context. You’re definitely correct on the government’s records retention laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. stonetools says:

    I’m afraid, conspiracy theorists, this is all a sideshow.
    Think Lois Lerner is a part of , or knows a lot about, some far-reaching conspiracy to persecute conservative political groups? Grant her immunity, subpoena her and have her testify under oath. You, I and certainly Darrell Issa knows that this is the way to proceed if you think she has significant info about this so called conspiracy.
    Why hasn’t Issa done that? Because unlike Tech Support and others, Issa knows that it’s unlikely there’s anything there.
    Its better to just wait around, grandstand, and point when some evidence of bureacratic incompetence appears. That’s lot better than putting Lerner under oath to find out conclusively that there’s no there, there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  38. george says:

    @Tech Support:

    Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth.

    Stopped reading right there. Your earlier post had some interesting points. But if you’re desperate enough to use personal insults then I figure I can safely assume you’ve nothing more to add that can stand on its own merit (hence the need for insults).

    For my part, I find it very hard to believe that the emails weren’t backed up on some external system; even small companies do that nowadays. This was true under Bush, and is still true today.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  39. michael reynolds says:

    There’s no getting away from the fact that this looks bad. I don’t see how we can object to Issa continuing his “investigation” at this point, and I’d have a hard time arguing against a special counsel. I still don’t think there’s any there there, but this is fatal to efforts to stop further investigation. Now we live with it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tech Support: Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth.

    Dumb move. The Obamoids here are going to use every and any excuse to actually discuss the topic, so you DON’T hand them one on a silver platter.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 27

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Look, it’s simple. The dog ate Lerner’s e-mails.

    And then Obama ate the dog.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 21

  42. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Dumb move. The Obamoids here are going to use every and any excuse to actually discuss the topic, so you DON’T hand them one on a silver platter.

    Don’t have to be an Obama fan to know that anyone resorting to insults (like Obamoid or bitch or pretty much anything else) typically has already lost the part of the argument based on reason and is switching to insults as a last resort.

    Seriously, I’ve been in hundreds of engineering design meetings over the decades. Insults are fairly rare in them, but when they do arise its always because someone has pointed out fatal holes in a proposal. Its almost a one-to-one correlation: those resorting to personal insults have run out of rational arguments.

    And most conservatives (quite a few in engineering) will tell you exactly the same thing; its always safe to ignore the arguments of someone who resorts to personal insults (though its a good idea to watch your back around them).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 6

  43. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The investigation would have continued regardless, but you are right-its looks bad. Expect more grandstanding from Issa. Bet there won’t be an offer of immunity, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @george: Read up this thread, george. The very first Obama backer to comment here said that the Obama administration was trolling conservatives by doing this… and approved. Then there was the whole “But Bush did it first!!!” line of crap.

    You want a conspiracy theory notion? It came out that Lerner had ILLEGALLY sent tons of highly confidential tax documents to the Justice Department with a note encouraging them to look for anything they could prosecute over. That caused a panic at the IRS, who then decided that that old computer crash would be a good excuse to delete all of her old e-mails that they could, under the theory that that would actually be less damaging than the e-mails themselves.

    Sending those records to the Justice Department was ILLEGAL.

    Not preserving those e-mails, especially after telling Congress under oath that they were preserved, is also ILLEGAL.

    This is how a “phony” scandal blows up. Watergate was a two-bit break-in that Nixon knew nothing about, and would have been a minor scandal at best. It wasn’t until Nixon found out about it and tried like hell to cover it up that it exploded and ended his presidency.

    Likewise, Clinton wasn’t impeached over a blowjob. He was impeached about lying under oath about a blowjob.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 19

  45. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    And then Obama ate the dog.

    Keep trying. If you make a million comments, eventually you will say something clever. The odds against you are very bad, but at the end of the day it’s a numbers game. It’s sort of like the dork’s game plan for getting a date. Ask enough girls out, eventually one will say yes. But you probably know about that one already :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  46. anjin-san says:

    Likewise, Clinton wasn’t impeached over a blowjob.

    Yea, but the right hated him because he – you know – could get blowjobs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  47. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Read up this thread, george. The very first Obama backer to comment here said that the Obama administration was trolling conservatives by doing this… and approved. Then there was the whole “But Bush did it first!!!” line of crap.

    Arguing the points like you did there is part of discussion, and I read such things, whether I agree with them or not.

    But that’s very different than calling someone a bitch or an Obamoid, mindless insults which its hard to interpret as anything other than markers that what follows is drivel that can safely be ignored (also applies to people who call Republicans “repugnicans” etc).

    In the case of this thread, I’m with those who think its a hard sell to believe those emails were on a single hard drive and lost. But if someone needs personal insults to make their point, then I suspect they’ve nothing useful to add to the discussion in either direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  48. Gustopher says:

    Ih her hard drive crashed a bunch of years ago, then there would be records of the tech support folks fixing that problem, right?

    And whether the government was using antiquated technology that would keep important data on local machines is also something that should be easy to prove.

    This all seems very straightforward. Her copies the emails were destroyed, so they can only reconstruct the record from what went to other people in the government.

    Hopefully, this leads to better record keeping and government technology upgrades, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @Tech Support:

    Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth. They were trying to find a path to prosecutions. But here’s the research you’re clearly to lazy to do yourself:

    The Republican Outreach to Women Program continues ….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Likewise, Clinton wasn’t impeached over a blowjob. He was impeached about lying under oath about a blowjob.

    Actually, Clinton was impeached when they (House Republicans) finally decided they’d had enough of this irrelevant investigation stuff, and they had the votes to impeach Clinton anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  51. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “. If you make a million comments, eventually you will say something clever. The odds against you are very bad, but at the end of the day it’s a numbers game”

    It’s a nice thought, but at the rate Jenos posts he’s due for something like a hundred clever responses in a row…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    I neglected to mention Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, and Vince Foster.
    The fiscal hawks have spent over $100M chasing chicken shit.
    But keep at it Republicans.
    I mean… It’s not like you have anything to contribute anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  53. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    No…I don’t think he/she does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. Jeremy R says:

    Due to a supposed computer crash

    It’s pretty outrageous how congressional Republicans continue to cry conspiracy without a lick of evidence, and in fact total evidence to the contrary:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/irs-lost-emails-by-official-in-tea-party-probe/2014/06/13/457c3b4c-f338-11e3-8d66-029598e98add_story.html

    The IRS said technicians went to great lengths trying to recover data from Lerner’s computer in 2011. In emails provided by the IRS, technicians said they sent the computer to a forensic lab run by the agency’s criminal investigations unit. But to no avail.

    So is the IRS tech support team and criminal investigations unit also in on the conspiracy inventing a HDD failure and pretending to try and recover from it? How about the IRS IG?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  55. Pinky says:

    The IRS has a terrible reputation in IT circles. I’d love to blame this on the administration – looove to – but I believe that this was sheer incompetence, not a deliberate act. It’d worth asking why it took them a year to figure out how much they’d lost, but I’d heard about this months ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  56. @Tech Support:

    Please note that personal attacks against other commenters is a violation of our comment policies.

    Disagree with Beth all you want, but language like that? No

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  57. David M says:

    So hard drives can fail? And some organizations don’t have reliable backup strategies?

    Why have I not heard of these issues before?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  58. Tillman says:

    Let’s not forget the IRS is underfunded on top of all this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  59. DrDaveT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The IRS is required to maintain a records management program to determine which e-mails are considered records and which aren’t, and maintain an archive of all records, which are eventually turned over to the National Archives.

    As Mikey suspected, many IRS employees have to roll their emails to .pst files regularly, because of limited room on the server and the enormous volume of email they generate. They are also strongly encouraged to delete all of the emails that do not rise to the level of ‘record’, because “Hey Bob, you wanna go to lunch?” isn’t worth the space it eats.

    I have no idea what the official policy is with regard to backups (and it probably varies from one piece of the IRS to another), but it would hardly be stunning news to learn that a fairly senior executive was sloppy about performing routine backups and lost some important data that way. On top of that, if Lerner lost other important data besides the emails when her computer crashed — which seems likely — then this was an awfully draconian (not to say ‘stupid’) method for hiding hypothetical incriminating emails from hypothetical future inquiry.

    I’d be very curious to hear more facts about the circumstances of the crash, and why the data was unrecoverable. If nothing else, the tech support people who tried to fix it should have records about what happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  60. Hal_10000 says:

    @Tech Support:

    “Not quite what I said, Bitch, er…I mean Beth.”

    [Headdesk]. You know, you were making decent points up until you decided to go there. One of the refreshing things about this board is the low level of name-calling.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  61. glasnost says:

    I’m willing to admit that losing emails looks bad, But since the entire IRS controversy is literally made up nonsense – the IRS targeted political organizations that were breaking IRS rules literally by being political organizations, then they typed search keywords for obviously political organizations that weren’t allowed to be political, it was utterly mundane rule enforcement, literally their job – the whole thing is complete baloney from front to back. So it’s hard to get worked up about suspiciously lost emails regarding a total nonevent.

    OK, here’s a sincere, honest, open response to the “Bush did it first” argument, one that I wish I had thought of a long, long time ago, in one word:

    “So?”

    When you bring that up, are you arguing that:

    1) Since Bush did it, it’s OK that Obama does it?

    Hey, Jenos. Allow me to take the bait. No, it’s bad when Karl Rove and fifteen different white house staffers did it, and it’s bad when mid-level IRS officials in the Obama administration did it. Bad Obama administration!

    While we’re being fair – what shall the punishment be and how much should the media care? The media cared very little when Bush did it and there was no punishment whatsoever. I recommend a scrupulously equivalent approach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  62. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “There’s no getting away from the fact that this looks bad. I don’t see how we can object to Issa continuing his “investigation” at this point, and I’d have a hard time arguing against a special counsel. I still don’t think there’s any there there, but this is fatal to efforts to stop further investigation. Now we live with it.”

    Yeah, that’s where I come down, too. Even if the Administration can produce all the records anyway from the other party who received them, this looks bad enough that there’s no way they can say no to an investigation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @glasnost: I’m willing to admit that losing emails looks bad, But since the entire IRS controversy is literally made up nonsense – the IRS targeted political organizations that were breaking IRS rules literally by being political organizations, then they typed search keywords for obviously political organizations that weren’t allowed to be political, it was utterly mundane rule enforcement, literally their job – the whole thing is complete baloney from front to back.

    glasnost: Lois Lerner sent 21 disks, containing 1.1 million pages of legally confidential taxpayer records, to the FBI so they could look through them. The IRS is legally forbidden to share this information with anyone, including other federal agencies.

    I dunno if that info can be kicked free with a court order or something, but I do know that no such court order was ever issued — no court would ever issue such an open-ended demand.

    Lerner broke the law by releasing those records. That is not debatable. And the IRS now says that it lost records that A) it had earlier claimed to still have, B) they are legally required to maintain, and C) would be exceptionally relevant to this particular violation of the law, as well as any others. This crime was discovered through e-mails between Lerner and Richard Pilger, the FBI’s top guy on election crimes.

    I’m gonna take a few minutes to answer your “but Bush!” point. I got a date with the head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  64. edmondo says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Please note that personal attacks against other commenters is a violation of our comment policies.

    Really? Have you been reading the comments on this board lately?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  65. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @glasnost: Hey, Jenos. Allow me to take the bait. No, it’s bad when Karl Rove and fifteen different white house staffers did it, and it’s bad when mid-level IRS officials in the Obama administration did it. Bad Obama administration!

    While we’re being fair – what shall the punishment be and how much should the media care? The media cared very little when Bush did it and there was no punishment whatsoever. I recommend a scrupulously equivalent approach.

    There are enough substantive differences between the two incidents that I don’t accept the equivalence, but let’s set that aside for now. And let’s also go beyond the “you’re a hypocrite!/No, you’re a hypocrite!” BS. Let’s just look at the comparison on a simple 2×2 matrix:

    1) Bush was wrong when he did it, and Obama was wrong when he did it. This means that people of good conscience should condemn both.

    2) Bush was right when he did it, and Obama was right when he did it. This means that people of good conscience should support (or, at least, refuse to condemn) both.

    3) Bush was wrong when he did it, and Obama was right when he did it. If this is the case, then the two acts were substantively different, and should not be compared. People of good conscience should refuse to equate the two.

    4) Bush was right when he did it, and Obama was wrong when he did it. If this is the case, once again the two acts were substantively different, and should not be compared. People of good conscience should refuse to equate the two.

    Obviously, I consider myself a “person of good conscience,” because pretty much everyone considers themselves such. And as such, I subscribe to #4.

    On the other hand, you are explicitly comparing the two, so that tends to push you towards the #1 or #2 options. I feel fairly comfortable in assuming that you don’t agree with me on #4, and #3 would involve some serious convolutions for you to reconcile your prior statements with it.

    I have a few more notions about the comparison, but I think I’ll hold on to them for now. Instead, I’ll invite you to respond to my above remarks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  66. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: From the first paragraph of your link –

    According to documents recently obtained by House investigators, the Internal Revenue Service may have been caught violating federal tax law when the agency allegedly transferred confidential information pertaining to a number of 501(c)(4) groups to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    (my emphasis)

    I’m not sure what you’re basing your definitive statement that Lerner broke the law when your own link doesn’t support that. Also from Politico:http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/issa-alleges-irs-data-dump-to-fbi-illegal-107609.html it appears there are circumstances written into the tax code where the IRS can share data with the Justice Dept. It has not yet been determined definitively whether that applies here or not.

    Also, the 1.1 million records does indeed sound ominous until you find out that much of that data is not confidential and widely available.

    I’m still of the opinion that when all this came out and the IRS was asked if it was investigating tax exempt groups it should have answered “damn right we are, it’s our freaking job. Don’t like it? Pay your taxes”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  67. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Obama did what?
    The problem is that you think it’s team sports.
    It’s OK for Bush to institutionalize torture…which he has admitted to…because that’s your team.
    But if the IRS loses some emails it’s Obamas conspiracy to cover up some Republic-destroying…..something. Only you and Red-State know what. Because it’s the other team.
    Beyond that…the problem really is that you are just a numbskull who’s never had an independent thought.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  68. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: Also, the 1.1 million records does indeed sound ominous until you find out that much of that data is not confidential and widely available.

    Unless you’re willing to say that all of that data was “not confidential and widely available,” then we have grounds for a thorough investigation. And since the IRS has already shown that it can not be trusted to do a competent and honest job of that, wouldn’t a special prosecutor or the like be appropriate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  69. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: I didn’t make any comparisons, Cliffy. I didn’t introduce Bush into the discussion, and I explicitly rejected — more than once — the comparison.

    I think it’s bad for the IRS to release confidential records. I think it’s bad for the IRS to say that it has kept records that it is legally required to keep, and then later say that — oops! — they lost it.

    Now please throw up your usual attempted diversions and insults so you can continue to avoid actually talking about the issue at hand…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  70. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I never said it wouldn’t. You are the one who stated with absolute conviction that Lerner broke the law (you said it was not debatable) and that sharing this data was illegal, which it isn’t in all cases. You’re the one who’s convicted her based on what you read on the internet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  71. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Not a bad summary. I’m definitely in your (1) category

    1) Bush was wrong when he did it, and Obama was wrong when he did it. This means that people of good conscience should condemn both.

    And my guess is that is the position of most people. However I agree that people can with good conscious believe any of your four options; which is the correct one is of course harder to discern given the complexity of such things. The problem is when people take a position without good conscious; I’d argue that (3) and (4) more likely to be taken that way than (1) or (2).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  72. Scott O says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’d be very curious to hear more facts about the circumstances

    Agree. Usually with these kind of stories it seems to me that as we find out more details the potential outrage factor diminishes considerably.

    I would recommend High Maintenance as an alternative entertainment while we’re waiting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You need to take a remedial reading course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  74. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Perhaps your remedial reading teacher could begin with the Tragedy of the Commons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  75. Anonymous says:

    @ b e t h and other fever water carriers…. these conveniently deleted emails ironically feel similar to all the other “non-scandals” with the “sickness” and “concussion” the former Secretary of state had just before the inquiry into Benghazi….as a tactical stall for time….also stalled for time were the conveniently timed roll backs of obamacare mandates (can’t wait to see what happens to my taxes next year by the way) How many times now were these mandates “conveniently’ rolled back until right after elections? And …..as always the Friday timing of this. Zero is going to come back from golf over the weekend and read in the newspaper Monday morning about this and be just as flabbergasted as you certainly are about how these emails went missing.

    Oh, has the rightwing nuttiness over this devolved from “not granting tax exempt status” to “wrangling up prosecutions”? I didn’t know there had been any criminal charges filed against anyone based on their tax exempt applications. Maybe not but when the process is the punishment and when the House Ways and Means Committee, asked the IRS to review the names on those lists to see whether any had been audited. The IRS reported back that 10 percent were audited — substantially higher than the average rate of 1 percent of average Americans who are audited each year.

    We have the president of the United States’ word as a gentleman that he knew nothing about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of his enemies until he “learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.”

    The commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, visited Obama’s White House no fewer than 157 times, which is 156 times more than his predecessor Mark Everson ever visited the White House.

    Malik, the brother of President Obama, runs the Barack H. Obama Foundation, named for the president’s father. On May 30, 2011, they applied for tax-exempt status, and had their approval signed less than a month later by Lois Lerner herself, and conveniently backdated by Lois to cover the two-and-a-half years the enterprising Malik had already been raking in “tax-deductible” donations from Americans. Conveniently the U.S. taxpayers wind up giving tax breaks to an entity linked to the butchers of Darfur, it’s pure coincidence that the racket turns out to be run by the president’s brother. Gosh seems like nothing to see here.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20

  76. Scott O says:

    @Anonymous: Nice rant. “Tax-deductible” in quotes like that means non tax deductible, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  77. C. Clavin says:

    @Anonymous:
    Well certainly if it feels like a conspiracy to you…then it must be a conspiracy.
    I mean…the fact that Republicans have investigated this for over a year…and spent $10M…and found absolutely no link to Obama doesn’t matter.
    It still feels like a conspiracy to you.
    Investigate on.
    Like I said…it’s not like Republicans have anything to contribute. At least if they are wasting time and money it’s keeping staffers employed and putting money into the economy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  78. steve says:

    Grant her immunity. Find out what really happened.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  79. beth says:

    @Anonymous: and he uses a teleprompter too!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  80. Just Me says:

    C Calvin I would be more generous with Obama’s, the justice department’s or the White House’s roll in this if they IRS hadn’t convieniently lost 2 years worth of emails.

    The lost emails right about the time the congress learns that thebIRS appeared to be sending records to the justice department that legally weren’t supposed to send and then 2 years of emails sitting right when this happened are lost?

    Be honest if this was Bush you and every other progressive would be screaming about corruption.

    I’m still not convinced Obama personally had anything to do with this but I am convinced that the IRS was deliberately targeting conservative groups and conservatives for harassment and Holder’s justce department was involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  81. Anonymous says:

    I’m still not convinced Obama personally had anything to do with this NOOO. Why would he? Like Jenos said it was GOP mole that did this. Not that we have the most corrupt “teleprompter reading” admin in the history of the republic. @ beth deflect much?

    when he isn’t on teleprompter he says thing like this… “What I was suggesting-you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith,” {the big zero}

    “The commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, visited Obama’s White House no fewer than 157 times, which is 156 times more than his predecessor Mark Everson ever visited the White House. ” that’s just a convenient misnomer. Wait till tomorrow when Zero finds out about this “he going to get the film maker that did this” i mean that “IT guy” that didn’t back up the many layers of redundant servers the government has.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  82. Anonymous says:

    @scott o and CC. Who said conspiracy? Its not a conspiracy when it the president’s brother. He just gets the special treatment of back dating his program for two and half years….it doesn’t even operate in the us and it pals around with people on the state terrorism list.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  83. Anonymous says:

    “I mean…the fact that Republicans have investigated this for over a year” …Right and as the irs stalled for time in this investigation then ……wait for it …..all the emails were deleted? oh i guess that its it nothing to see here. Stupid repukes. Bengahzi emails?…redacted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  84. Tillman says:

    @Tillman: Whoa. Didn’t think it’d be such a contentious point to make since the IRS budget has been cut by a billion over the last four years, and the agency’s lost almost ten percent of its workforce.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: A declaration that “most” of the documents were not confidential is an admission that some were covered. One of the primary duties of the IRS is to keep confidential information confidential. These are highly trained, highly educated professionals whose main job is to follow these laws. “Oops” is not a defense.

    The laws that cover the preservation of e-mails are very explicit and very detailed. It describes just what e-mails must be preserved, and how. These are highly trained, highly educated professionals whose main job is to follow these laws. “Oops” is not a defense.

    But thanks for your link. It clearly establishes that the law was broken.

    The IRS responded that it identified issues with 33 tax returns out of more than 12,000 that included confidential taxpayer information.

    That’s the IRS’ own admission, not an independent source. I’m wondering how many more than those 33 also contained confidential information, but 33 is enough to establish that the law was broken.

    The IRS doesn’t accept “the dog ate my receipts” or “I didn’t know that was against the law” as an excuse. Why do they think that they can get away with it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  86. C. Clavin says:

    @Anonymous:
    Oh…it’s the great TelePrompTer conspiracy now.
    Knock yourself out. Investigate away. Draft the articles of impeachment already.
    Republicans have Accomplished nothing since Bush was appointed to the Presidency. Why start now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  87. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: yeah because no one in history has ever made a mistake at work. Besides your original post said she broke the law, not debatable and that releasing the info was illegal, full stop. Now you’re qualifying. That’s fine but don’t be so defensive when people point out your inconsistencies (I would call them mistakes but according to your logic no one makes mistakes).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  88. DrDaveT says:

    OK, this is awesome: apparently Representative Steve Stockman has written to the NSA requesting all of the metadata for Lois Lerner’s emails from the period affected by the hard drive crash.

    According to chairman Camp, “The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices” due to a “computer glitch.”

    I am writing to request the Agency produce all metadata it has collected on all of Ms. Lerner’s email accounts for the period between January 2009 and April 2011.

    The data may be transmitted to our Communications Director at Donny@mail.house.gov.

    Your prompt cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated and will help establish how IRS and other personnel violated rights protected by the First Amendment.

    Warmest wishes,

    STEVE STOCKMAN

    Member of Congress

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  89. James Pearce says:

    @Just Me:

    I’m still not convinced Obama personally had anything to do with this but I am convinced that the IRS was deliberately targeting conservative groups and conservatives for harassment and Holder’s justce department was involved.

    I’m sorry, but scrutinizing one’s tax exempt status does not rise to the level of “deliberately targeting conservative groups and conservatives for harassment.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  90. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The IRS doesn’t accept “the dog ate my receipts” or “I didn’t know that was against the law” as an excuse. Why do they think that they can get away with it?

    That is an interesting point; would the IRS accept as an excuse that someone had lost all their tax information because of a computer failure?

    I kind of suspect not.

    Seriously, I still don’t believe that there was no backup of email on either a different server, or external storage. Even small organizations automatically do that now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  91. Just Me says:

    The IRS won’t accept a documented fire as an excuse for not producing tax documents so pretty sure computer failure won’t be accepted as an excuse.

    The IRS scandal wasn’t just a few rogues in Cinncinnati and this just looks like an attempt to hide evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  92. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Tech Support:

    Dude, even Jenos and Michael Reynolds–who are not known to hold back, at all–will at most use insults like “lick-spittle” or a good old fashioned “stupid.”

    We may be jerks to each other here, but we’re jerks in a rather civilized manner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  93. al-Ameda says:

    @Anonymous:

    Malik, the brother of President Obama, runs the Barack H. Obama Foundation, named for the president’s father. On May 30, 2011, they applied for tax-exempt status, and had their approval signed less than a month later by Lois Lerner herself, and conveniently backdated by Lois to cover the two-and-a-half years the enterprising Malik had already been raking in “tax-deductible” donations from Americans. Conveniently the U.S. taxpayers wind up giving tax breaks to an entity linked to the butchers of Darfur, it’s pure coincidence that the racket turns out to be run by the president’s brother. Gosh seems like nothing to see here.

    I’ve got two words for you: Bill Ayres

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  94. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That’s the IRS’ own admission, not an independent source. I’m wondering how many more than those 33 also contained confidential information, but 33 is enough to establish that the law was broken.

    That would be true if it weren’t for the fact that, as has been pointed out to you, there are provisions in the law for sharing confidential information with the DOJ. That should be investigated to make sure the sharing was proper, but your blanket statement that it ”is enough to establish that the law was broken” is false. I expect that as usual you will ignore this correction and continue your attack unabated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  95. KansasMom says:

    @Anonymous: No he didn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  96. KansasMom says:

    Shulman visited the White House 11 times in the period in question. I seem to recall a major piece of legislation that was passed during that time frame that required some consultation between the IRS and the White House. Also , too, we know all of this because the Obama administration made this info public, unlike their predecessors. (Cheney energy meetings, cough, cough.) If you have to lie, or rely on the lies of others, to make your point, your point is worthless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: beth, we seem to agree that the law was broken, at least twice — the release of confidential information, and the “accidental” loss of e-mails. And if you’d like another example, someone within the IRS released the National Organization for Marriage’s 2008 tax filings to Human Rights Campaign. There’s something seriously rotten inside the IRS.

    Or, alternately, if you’re just looking for excuses to not talk about that, say so. I’ll call you a mean name, and you can get all huffy and refuse to discuss things. That way, at least we both get a little fun out of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  98. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    beth, we seem to agree that the law was broken, at least twice — the release of confidential information, and the “accidental” loss of e-mails.

    Look back at what Beth posted earlier.

    it appears there are circumstances written into the tax code where the IRS can share data with the Justice Dept. It has not yet been determined definitively whether that applies here or not.

    So, once again, no it is not a given that the release broke the law. It needs to be investigated to see if the releases complied with the law, but your statement that the law was definitely broken simply because the information was shared with DOJ is false. As predicted you ignored the information that hurt your case and continued on the attack undeterred by contrary evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  99. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: “Contrary evidence?” There is NO “contrary evidence.” You’re putting up potential defenses based purely on your own speculation.

    OK, fine, let’s go with the “it might not be illegal under certain circumstances” angle. Is there the slightest indication that such circumstances existed? No. Instead, we are told that some protected files were inadvertently included with a slew of non-protected files.

    Also, it doesn’t address the lost e-mails. Not only are there specific law that require agencies to preserve these e-mails, but back in March IRS Commissioner testified, under oath, that the agency had Lerner’s e-mails.

    Let’s look at the timeline here:

    March 2011: A computer crash loses Lerner’s e-mails from January 2009 to March 2011.

    February 2014: Congress issues a subpoena for all of Lerner’s e-mails for her entire tenure, from January 2009 to September 2013.

    March 2014: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifies, under oath, that he received the subpoena and that the agency has preserved those e-mails.

    June 2014: The IRS informs Congress that the e-mails from almost half that time no longer exist.

    Did the dog go back in time to eat the e-mails?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  100. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: So someone employee at the IRS, while complying with a request for public information, accidentally released private information. Out of the hundreds of thousands or even millions of pieces of private info the IRS has access to, one gets leaked and you immediately jump to a conspiracy. Isn’t it more probable it was a mistake? And I know you’re going to point out that it was a conservative group but that’s who Propublica (if I remember correctly) asked for info on.

    Please don’t ever think discussing anything with you could be fun. I’m only trying because I actually know someone who works for the IRS and is now , after 30 years, afraid to tell people where he works because of folks like you demonizing thousands of people who work there, have worked there for years, just try to do their jobs no matter what party is in power and would never in a million years do anything illegal or unethical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  101. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: So someone employee at the IRS, while complying with a request for public information, accidentally released private information. Out of the hundreds of thousands or even millions of pieces of private info the IRS has access to, one gets leaked and you immediately jump to a conspiracy. Isn’t it more probable it was a mistake?

    beth, it doesn’t require a “conspiracy” to expect IRS employees to follow the law, and to have a higher understanding and respect for the law. Simply saying “oops! — it was an accident!” doesn’t make it OK to break the law.

    There’s a saying you might have heard of: “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” And IRS employees charged with abiding by the law have even less of an excuse to plead ignorance, or carelessness.

    I have some theories about what actually went down, and I’ve shared some — but not all — of them. And so far they have been neither proven or disproven.

    Here’s what happened; IRS employees who are charged with complying with the law in regarding to exactly what tax documents are confidential and are not failed to comply with that law. Complying with that law is their job. And they failed.

    There’s a legal principle that certain people are held to higher standards than average people. Professionals are afforded less benefit of the doubt than amateurs. And these were tax professionals who violated tax laws.

    Oh, and beth? Still curious to hear what excuses you might come up with regarding the National Organization for Marriage case, or the lost e-mails. More honest “oopsies?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  102. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: Please don’t ever think discussing anything with you could be fun. I’m only trying because I actually know someone who works for the IRS and is now , after 30 years, afraid to tell people where he works because of folks like you demonizing thousands of people who work there, have worked there for years, just try to do their jobs no matter what party is in power and would never in a million years do anything illegal or unethical.

    So, your only interest here is because some guy you know is getting his feelings hurt? Because this guy is wonderful, we should just ignore any illegal things his colleagues might have done?

    I’m glad you didn’t take me up on my offer to call you a bad name so you could have an excuse to stop discussing this with me. Because now I have several far more appropriate inappropriate terms than I was considering then…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  103. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You can call me any inappropriate name you want – that’s a reflection of your intellect and maturity and has nothing to do with me. As for me I’ll just go back to my old practice of just skipping over your posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  104. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: So that’s your excuse for running away.

    Your friend at the IRS is lucky to have such a loyal friend as you. And even more lucky at his colleagues who actually broke the law — how many people are there like you, who will let them hide behind your chum? For the sake of your friend’s tender feelings, just how many violations of the law should we accept and overlook?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  105. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Contrary evidence?” There is NO “contrary evidence.” You’re putting up potential defenses based purely on your own speculation.

    First, the evidence is that it is legal for the IRS to share confidential info with the DOJ in certain circumstances (ie when there is evidence of false statements), so your assertion that the act of sharing proves definitively that the law was broken is false.
    Second, unlike you, I am not claiming my speculation is 100% true instead I am pointing out a potential scenario where the release complies with the law and saying we should investigate rather than leaping to judgement. You continue to treat your speculation as fact and cast all contrary evidence as cover up. That is less than honest.

    Is there the slightest indication that such circumstances existed? No.

    There is evidence that blatantly political organizations filed for non profit status despite laws to the contrary, so your assertion is again wrong. Once again you will refuse to acknowledge this and continue on. You will never ”cheerfully admit you are wrong and apologize” regardless of how thoroughly wrong you are shown to be. This is but one more evidence of that.

    As to the lost emails, I am waiting for more evidence to come out before I decide. If it turns out it was more than what they are now saying, then I will respond accordingly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  106. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @beth: So that’s your excuse for running away.

    Ummm, you’re a troll?
    I’m staying around because I’m bored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  107. Grewgills says:

    @Just Me:

    The IRS won’t accept a documented fire as an excuse for not producing tax documents so pretty sure computer failure won’t be accepted as an excuse.

    Except that they will. The IRS will allow extensions for you to reconstruct documents lost to fire, floods, or other things beyond your control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: First, the evidence is that it is legal for the IRS to share confidential info with the DOJ in certain circumstances (ie when there is evidence of false statements), so your assertion that the act of sharing proves definitively that the law was broken is false.

    I’m having to reconsider my opinion of your intelligence. And not in your favor.

    That there are circumstances where the IRS can divulge confidential tax information to the DoJ is not “evidence,” it is a fact.

    However, the currently operative story from the IRS is that the release of the confidential information was accidental. The theory that the release was done in compliance with a warrant or whatever is totally incompatible with that story — one doesn’t “accidentally” comply with a warrant.

    The default is that most tax information is confidential, and the exceptions are 1) what is public, and 2) circumstances that require that the information be divulged. And the IRS officials are, by law, required to be absolute experts on those rules. They are obligated to know those laws, because they are empowered to enforce them.

    The current excuse for the release was “oops.” Not “we had to comply with the law,” but “we messed up on the law.”

    Unless, of course, Holder gets an order for the release of the documents, and backdates it, at which point everything I’ve said becomes “inoperative.” At least that was the term used 40-odd years ago…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  109. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Did the dog go back in time to eat the e-mails?

    No, she used her time machine to go back in time and crash her computer so she would lose dozens of projects she was working on and the emails in question. That way it would look to sane people today like they were lost in an accident rather than to her deviously concocted conspiracy.

    Little known fact: that very same time machine was used to go back in time an plant Obama’s birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser allowing the Marxist, Kenyan, muslim, racist to become our 44th president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  110. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m having to reconsider my opinion of your intelligence. And not in your favor.

    Oh nooooos!!!

    That there are circumstances where the IRS can divulge confidential tax information to the DoJ is not “evidence,” it is a fact.

    Because facts cannot be evidence, that would just be silly, everybody knows the real evidence is speculation and hearsay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  111. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    However, the currently operative story from the IRS is that the release of the confidential information was accidental.

    Once again, you are wrong. The release of info to the DOJ has not been deemed accidental by any official of the Federal government that I have been able to find. If you can cite a source showing that this is their official position I will ”cheerfully admit I was wrong.”
    They have said that the failure to redact donor names from the FOIA release of info on the National Organization for Marriage was accidental, but that is a separate issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  112. Xenos says:

    The argument is that Lerner sent emails to the White House and the DOJ in 2011 and earlier.

    So why not have their email records checked? If the White House and DOJ had all of their records disappear from the same time, then you have a prima facie case of spoliation of evidence.

    So, any geniuses in Congress realize that non-internal email goes somewhere outside the IRS?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  113. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: Once again, you are wrong. The release of info to the DOJ has not been deemed accidental by any official of the Federal government that I have been able to find. If you can cite a source showing that this is their official position I will ”cheerfully admit I was wrong.”

    Well, if you read the Politico story that beth linked to, you might have seen this paragraph:

    The IRS acknowledged that some non-public taxpayer information was shared in the documents but said a tiny fraction of the data at issue was “inadvertently” shared.

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  114. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Xenos: Interesting notion. Of course, it’s based on the assumption that the White House and DoJ would cooperate with such requests for data, and Holder is currently being held in contempt of Congress.

    Besides, it’s not necessarily just those two agencies. Who knows who else Lerner was talking with, and what other admissions she might have made? Her account is central point of all that information.

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  115. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    That was a mistake on my part. I had not read that article.
    I did notice on reading further into the article that the ”inadvertent” release was the failure to redact some personal info on 33 returns out of 12,000 documents sent to the FBI. Most of the groups are not political. Does that really seem like a conspiracy to you? Do you think the 10-15 potentially political groups in that dump were intentionally targeted and that the other 11,985 returns were cover to try and hide the 10-15 they were after?
    I also noticed further into that article it stated,

    Marc Owens, who formerly ran the IRS tax-exempt division, said it’s “not clear that there is an issue,” pointing to sections of the tax code that set out procedures for sharing of protected taxpayer information with DOJ in any proceeding before a federal grand jury or preparation for any proceeding.
    I doubt that DOJ can disclose whether or not there is/was a grand jury, or preparations for one, under any circumstances,” Owens, now a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale’s D.C. office, wrote in an email.
    Owens added that he sees two questions going forward: One, was the DOJ determination that 6103 information was included correct? And two, was or is there a grand jury, or preparation for a grand jury, in the works?

    So, it is not certain at this point whether the disclosure was appropriate or not at this point. It will all come out in the end.

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  116. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: I did notice on reading further into the article that the ”inadvertent” release was the failure to redact some personal info on 33 returns out of 12,000 documents sent to the FBI. Most of the groups are not political. Does that really seem like a conspiracy to you? Do you think the 10-15 potentially political groups in that dump were intentionally targeted and that the other 11,985 returns were cover to try and hide the 10-15 they were after?

    As I said, I have a few theories of my own, few of which I feel like sharing. After all, we all know how bad it is to speculate — unless you’re defending Obama and Democrats, of course.

    I think that the points you raise are useful if one is attempting to minimize that laws were broken, by people who are claiming ignorance/incompetence and are in positions where such claims are not acceptable. The reasons why the law was broken remain to be determined, as well as any possible motives.

    Lerner had a long history of using her appointed positions to advance her personal political biases — see her tenure at the FEC during the Clinton administration. She had no business in a position of power at the IRS, but she was put there and protected. And bad things happened under her tenure.

    But on the topic of the lost e-mails… as I said above, the timeline simply doesn’t make sense. And Sharyl Attkisson has some rather awkward questions about the rather convenient loss of Lerner’s e-mails, the kinds of questions that most of us lack the expertise to even ask.

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  117. Ken says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Seriously for a minute… what happens in a court case where one side is ordered to produce documents that it says it has, then later say “oops, they’re gone?” Aren’t juries instructed tthat they can assume that the vanished evidence was harmful to the side that oopsed them?

    That depends – if the evidence is intentionally or recklessly lost or destroyed (or the defendant simply refuses to produce it), the finder of fact (usually a jury) may infer that the evidence would have been harmful to the defendant, up to and including completely adopting the plaintiff’s claims of what the evidence would have said/showed

    I’m almost certain that evidence destroyed accidentally does not allow these adverse inferences

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  118. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Ken: Lois Lerner’s questions bear a great deal on your comment, Ken:

    Please provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix. This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.
    Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS’ disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.
    Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why.
    Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?
    Please provide documentation reflecting any security analyses done to assess the impact of the crash and lost materials. If such analyses were not performed, why not?
    Please provide documentation showing the steps taken to recover the material, and the names of all technicians who attempted the recovery.
    Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated.
    Please provide any documents reflecting an investigation into how the crash resulted in the irretrievable loss of federal data and what factors were found to be responsible for the existence of this situation.
    I would also ask for those who discovered and reported the crash to testify under oath, as well as any officials who reported the materials as having been irretrievably lost.

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  119. pylon says:

    @Ken: Right, and even moreso: adverse inferences are unsually only instructed where there’s no credible explanation for the absence of evidence or a witness.

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  120. Just Me says:

    @Grewgills:

    And if you can’t reconstruct them? Too bad you can’t use them and you owe more taxes.

    The IRS is hiding something and has been playing games with congress for over a year now.

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  121. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As I said, I have a few theories of my own, few of which I feel like sharing. After all, we all know how bad it is to speculate — unless you’re defending Obama and Democrats, of course.

    That is not at all it, as you should know. I objected to you treating your speculation and hearsay as fact and I objected to you using hearsay and speculation to trash someone that was and still is at this time not able to defend himself. I further found the trashing of his family for political gain unethical. That you cannot or will not acknowledge this difference and instead choose to play it off with snark for political gain is telling.

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  122. Grewgills says:

    @Just Me:

    And if you can’t reconstruct them? Too bad you can’t use them and you owe more taxes.

    They generally accept good faith attempts at reconstruction and will participate in the process. My mom had an issue like this after a theft left her without some records and the IRS was helpful and courteous.
    What would you propose they do? Should they just give a yearlong tax holiday to anyone who has had a fire, flood or theft?

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  123. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: They generally accept good faith attempts at reconstruction and will participate in the process. My mom had an issue like this after a theft left her without some records and the IRS was helpful and courteous.

    Your mom isn’t a Tea Party group, nor is your mom under the kind of legal requirements to keep backups of her records like the IRS is.

    And I am exerting a tremendous amount of restraint to not add in a “your mom” joke, even though at least half a dozen immediately come to mind…

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  124. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    I was responding to Just Me’s statement.
    As to the mom jokes, thanks for not descending into the darkest depths of douche-baggery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  125. John D'Geek says:

    @michael reynolds: Yeah. At this point the IRS is either guilty of Corruption or Gross Negligence. Either way, it needs to be investigated.

    No backups? Really? Everything I’ve ever sent on my “official” e-mails is backed up in multiple places …

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