The cover-up continues…. IRS chief John Koskinen told the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that it would take years to provide all the documents they have subpoenaed in their probe of how the agency handled tea party groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.
In a contentious exchange over whether he and his agency are cooperating in Congress’s investigations into tea party targeting, Mr. Koskinen said the amount of time it will take to look through and redact private information from the documents could last years.
“What they want is something that’s going to take years to produce,” he told the House Oversight Committee, which six months ago issued a subpoena for Ms. Lerner’s emails because the IRS wasn’t acting quickly enough.
That subpoena remains outstanding and both Republicans and Democrats on the committee said the IRS needs to speed things up.
“We don’t want the excuses anymore. Prioritize them. Put more lawyers on the job, all means all.”” said Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who has helped spearhead the committee’s investigation into IRS targeting.
At the hear of the issue was the volume of documents demanded by the committee in subpoena, which Koskinen said would “overwhelm the investigators, not us,” if they were required to turn over all of the documents, including those that did not include specific search terms determined by the congressional committees.
“We would not have found Lois Lerner talking to her daughter about overtly partisan and political activity if we had only looked for determination,” Issa said.
Koskinen, while warning the resulting flood of documents would be overwhelming, said the IRS team working on the investigation would prioritize sending the Lerner emails that contained relevant search terms, and then move on to the rest.
“With all due respect, we don’t care what you think is relevant,” said Jim Jordan, (R-OH)
The commissioner said that, even in responding to the subpoena fully by turning over all of Lerner’s emails, the process would still take significant time to go through each document and redact confidential taxpayer information.
“This commissioner has no intention of complying with this duly-issued subpoena,” charged a heated Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R-UT).
“We have never said we won’t comply,” Koskinen responded. “To respond fully to this subpoena, it’s going to take years, not months.”
Its been a bit more than ten months since the IRS targeting of conservative groups was first revealed. As we head toward another election cycle we still lack the knowledge of what happened, why it happened, and how we prevent it from happening again.