In a move that does nothing to inspire confidence, the IRS disclosed last week that two years’ worth of email messages to and from Lois Lerner, beleaguered former head of the exempt organizations division, were destroyed in a 2011 computer crash.
Representative Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is not happy. He believes this is additional evidence that the IRS is not fully cooperating with his Committee’s investigation into the IRS targeting scandal. In a letter to the commissioner of the IRS, John Koskinen, Issa wrote: “I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing.”
Koskinen will appear before the two House committees (Oversight and Government Reform and Ways and Means) investigating the scandal next week to address the thousands of emails lost. The committees will determine whether the lost emails involved obstruction or a violation of the Federal Records Act.
Democrats on the Oversight Committee claim that the IRS had previously disclosed that the emails had been lost and that Issa is now only feigning surprise.
The IRS has provided about 67,000 emails so far to investigators, including 24,000 that were lost in the computer crash but recovered from the accounts of Lerner’s correspondents.