It’s amazing how coincidences happen The IRS on Friday told Congress that five of the 82 people being questioned about the agency’s tea party targeting scandal lost emails as a result of computer crashes, including one official who worked closely with former IRS official Lois Lerner
Maybe its some kind of virus infecting the people who worked near/with Lois Lerner, a virus flowing through their fingers on to the computers, because the loss of emails by this one group in the IRS is getting eerie.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a report sent to the committees investigating whether the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups in recent years said 18 of the 82 people “had some type of technical computer issue” between September 2009 and February 2014. Five of those “had hard-drive issues that resulted in a probable loss of emails during portions of the four-year period.”
Amazing–not only is there a rash of lost emails amongst people working on 501(C)(3) applications but coincidentally the emails that were lost were from the specific period being investigated.
They include: Judy Kindell, a former senior adviser to Lerner; Justin Lowe, a tax law specialist for exempt organizations who worked with Kindell; IRS manager Ron Shoemaker, who helped oversee the tea party cases; and Julie Chen and Nancy Heagney, who are Cincinnati-based IRS agents working on the tea party cases.
Perhaps computers are afraid of the tea party and that’s why they are crashing.
The crashes all predate the congressional investigations, the IRS said, and “in each instance the user contacted IT staff and attempted to recover his or her data.”
“Throughout this review, the IRS has found no evidence that any IRS personnel deliberately destroyed any evidence,” the report says.
The agency said it has recovered more than 14,000 “potentially relevant emails” from the five employees by searching the emails of others at the IRS who may have received or were copied on the messages.
The news comes as the IRS inspector general is investigating what happened to Lerner’s emails, which disappeared in a 2011 computer crash, according to the IRS. Lerner, who has become the center of this entire affair, oversaw the division caught using inappropriate criteria to flag groups applying for tax exemptions before the 2012 election.
Due to its scant back-up systems, the IRS said it has no back-ups of her emails, though the IRS inspector general has reportedly found a tape that might have some emails originally thought to be lost. That report is pending.
At the same time, court documents released more than a week ago suggest Lerner’s Blackberry was wiped clean in 2012, but it’s unclear why or how this happened.
Coincidences happen but this doesn’t seem like a coincidence. It smells like obstruction of justice to me. If this was a Republican administration the cover up of the IRS scandal would be on the front page of every news paper in the country. Sadly it probably will receive very little coverage.