Here’s a story that got lost in the Day after Election Day fervor. Judicial Watch announced yesterday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted to the court that it failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.
In mid-September, Judicial Watch filed a Motion for Limited Discovery, which argued that despite two court orders, the IRS had failed to provide information explaining how “the missing emails could be retrieved from other sources and produced to Judicial Watch.” One month later, the IRS filed a brief asking the court to deny the Judicial Watch request. It also explained they hadn’t even tried to look for the emails because if they looked they were not sure they would find them.
IRS attorneys conceded that they had failed to search the agency’s servers for missing emails because they decided that “the servers would not result in the recovery of any information.” They admitted they had failed to search the agency’s disaster recovery tapes because they had “no reason to believe that the tapes are a potential source of recovering” the missing emails. And they conceded that they had not searched the government-wide back-up system because they had “no reason to believe such a system … even exists.”
The IRS admitted to Judge Sullivan that the agency failed to “submit declarations about any of the foregoing items because it had no reason to believe that they were sources from which to recover information lost as a result of Lerner’s hard drive failure.”
In an Orwellian-type admission, the IRS also said they only searched databases that they know do not have the missing emails.
(…) The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. In the October federal court filing, the IRS does not deny that the government-wide back-up system exists, and acknowledges to the court that 760 other email “servers” have been discovered but had not been searched. The IRS also refuses to disclose the names of the IRS officials who may have information about the IRS scandal, citing unspecified threats. The IRS says it pulled documents about the scandal from various employees into a “Congressional database” and that it has only searched this one “database” for missing records. Incredibly, the IRS has not searched any of the IRS’s regular computer systems for any missing records and admits that it has only searched a “database” that it knows does not contain the missing records being sought by the court, Judicial Watch, and Congress.
The IRS not only refuses to provide the information to the court but they also refuse to testify under oath about their search, raising the question: if they have nothing to hide, why would they be unwilling to testify?