Skip to comments.IRS head says no laws broken in loss of emails
Posted on 06/24/2014 6:51:41 AM PDT by PoloSec
WASHINGTON (AP) Republicans in Congress aren't buying the contention by the head of the Internal Revenue Service that he has seen no evidence anyone committed a crime when the agency lost emails that might shed light on the targeting of tea party and other political groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections.
On Tuesday, a House panel will hear from a White House official who once worked at the IRS.
Jennifer O'Connor worked at the IRS from May to November 2013, helping the agency gather documents related to the congressional investigations, said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight Committee. O'Connor has since moved to the White House counsel's office.
Issa subpoenaed O'Connor on Monday night after the White House declined his invitation to have her testify. After getting the subpoena, the White House relented.
Issa said he wants to question O'Connor about former IRS official Lois Lerner's lost emails. The IRS said Lerner's computer crashed in 2011, and emails she had archived on the hard drive were lost. Sign Up for the Politics Today newsletter!
Lerner headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The Oversight Committee is investigating the handling of applications from tea party and other political groups. Congressional investigators want Lerner's emails to see if there is evidence that anyone outside the IRS was involved.
"Before her promotion to the White House, Ms. O'Connor led the response to the congressional targeting inquiry and she is uniquely qualified to explain why attorneys did not focus on and flag Lerner's 'lost' emails at the outset," Issa said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said, "Republicans have been trying desperately and unsuccessfully for more than a year to link this scandal to the White House."
David Ferriero, who heads the National Archives and Records Administration, was also scheduled to testify. The National Archives has asked the IRS to investigate the loss of records, and whether any disposal of data was authorized.
On Monday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen appeared at a rare evening hearing before Issa's committee to answer questions about the lost emails. The hearing was contentious, with Koskinen brushing aside accusations that the IRS has obstructed the political group targeting investigations.
"I have the ability to say I have seen no evidence of any crime," Koskinen said.
Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, scoffed at Koskinen's assertion.
"I have always believed that what happened in your agency with Lois Lerner is a crime," Turner said. "I believe that there were others involved. I believe the emails that are missing are the ones that would probably give us an ability to establish that. And I believe that somebody undertook a criminal act in its destruction."
Turner, however, acknowledged he has no evidence to back up his belief.
Koskinen said there was no evidence that Lerner intentionally destroyed the emails. To the contrary, he said the IRS went to great lengths trying to retrieve lost documents on Lerner's computer, even sending it to the agency's forensic lab.
In 2011, the IRS had a policy of backing up emails on computer tapes, but the tapes were recycled every six months, Koskinen said. He said Lerner's hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed.
The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because she had copied in other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it is producing a total of 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering the period from 2009 to 2013.
The IRS inspector general is investigating the lost emails, Koskinen said.
Lerner, who is now retired from the IRS, has refused to testify at two Oversight Committee hearings, invoking her constitutional right against self-incrimination. In May, the House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.
I watched this committee meeting last night, the arrogance of this guy was astounding, as well as the democrat questioners, I've said it before and will say it again, this investigation as it stands now, is going nowhere, just a continuing circus dog and pony show.
Koskinen looks like hea about 65 years old. That means he is likely to live about another ten years, about as long as your typical hard drive.
One of the Congressmen should ask him if he went to a high school reunion and was standing around with ten other 65-year-old men and six of them suddenly dropped dead, if he would consider that evidence of criminal activity.
That guy has a pardon tucked safely in his home safe. His condescending attitude while lying through his teeth is just breathtaking. But you are right, this investigation is going nowhere. The stone wall is 300 feet high.
“No laws were broken.” Well, that’s it then I guess (Rino response).
The dog ate my homework or pissed on my harddrive for adults. Geeze.
Spammin your thread.
This mornings IRS hearing is live now. White House attorney and an archivist from the National Archives and Records Administration to testify.
And, what if I say I break no laws by refusing to send the IRS money?
If the Republicans don’t use videos of this disgusting creep in their campaign ads in 2016, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush must be running. After all, these two softy “moderates” would think it unsporting to embarrass Hillary by playing this creep’s testimony defending open destruction of IRS records to save Obama’s hide.
this investigation as it stands now, is going nowhere, just a continuing circus dog and pony show.
One standout: Trey Gowdy “destroyed” him on the ‘no evidence of crime’. He asked this weasel what criminal statutes he’s reviewed to make that determination & the answer was ‘none’. If you don’t know what constitutes a ‘crime’ under the statutes, you can’t determine whether or not one occurred. He also got Koskinen to separate what Lois may/may not have done from the issue of producing her emails. K admitted he meant no wrongdoing in the process of producing emails - he had never met Lerner and was not saying that her actions weren’t criminal. Gowdy was just plain awesome - the folks appearing before his Benghazi commission (those that have something to worry about) had better be prepared & wear some Depends .... I’m sure they’re already shaking in their boots. Gowdy will shred them.
Of course, about the time Gowdy really got going with this arrogant Obamabot (major donor), his time ran out.
Grand Jury time.
Quite frankly we should supeona Harry Reid’s email records from 2011. Isn’t he the one that was all up in Romney’s tax records with blatant assertions of misconduct?
Who were the other democrats at the time whining about the Tea Party? I think there were 13 of them...
If we can’t find dear Ms. Lerner’s emails...then we need to request those who had correspondence with her to cough them up. Email is at least, at least, a two way communication.
The Wheels of Justice grind slowly, so Obama will be gone before this gets resolved. I just hope that his successor doesn’t ‘end’ the prosecution by pardoning all those key participants in the obstruction of Justice. That just keeps the political game of tag going, and the faith in governance just keep going down the tubes. The Media moans about it, but they are part & parcel of it as an arm of the Democrat Party.
That clown gives me the creeps.
An arrogant, defiant, old bastard willing to lie for the boss and the furtherance of marxism.
He's 74. :-)
Somewhere, either in statute or federal regulation, there is a requirement for retaining computer data. Anyone know where it is, or how long it is?
Apparently, Smug is a preservative...
liar liar pants on fire
After Reagan's unexpected landslide in 1980, even the jackass party didn't want to be seen as siding with the IRS. They wanted just a dog and pony show but Congressman Hansen would not let go. We got a number of meaningful reforms out of those hearings including a Taxpayer's Bill of Rights all because of one congressman with backbone.
The IRS got their revenge on him a few years later when he was narrowly defeated for re-election and jailed on some totally bogus campaign charges finally overturned in 1995.
Congress critters are afraid of becoming the next George Hansen. They know that simply curbing the IRS has its limits. The agency really needs to be broken up. Preferably in a million pieces.
‘No laws broken’?
Ask this half-wit to define WHICH law he is so certain he did NOT break!
Guaranteed he DOES NOT KNOW the law and never did.
He is just ANOTHER irresponsible, unscrupulous, self-serving Liberal creep this Administration shunted into a cushy and job that is completely BEYOND his abilities and character.
People break IRS laws/rules unwittingly every year, by the tens of thousands. Most go uncaught, but those that do often get the book thrown at them by jackals like this guy. Do you think he would accept an “ignorance of the Law” argument? Of course not.
Trey Gowdy tore him a new one over this. Gowdy asked Koskinen point blank what statute he was referencing when he made that claim of legality. Koskinen said he didn’t have one, but was relying instead on common sense. Gowdy came across like Perry Mason after that one. I would highly recommend the audio of this exchange to all FReepers.
This is the story our local liberal rag ran. So just by the title, the low information voter thinks no laws were broken even though the IRS head had no clue of any of the laws that might have been broken.
Props to Trey Gowdy for getting to the bottom of that. The enemedia needs to be brought to justice as well.
Yes. He wouldn’t be so arrogant if he didn’t know for sure that the fix is in.
I’m not big on lawsuits but surely a civil case filed against various IRS figures would have a good chance of winning based on the preponderance of evidence standard?
I know the old line about the government must give permission to be sued but there is nothing, as far as I know, about individuals being sued as individuals. True The Vote v Lerner would be a slam dunk.
"No laws have been broken by the IRS!"
One law was and that was that the IRS failed to notify the national Archive that records were destroyed. The Arhivist just testified that he still hasn’t been notified and he sitting right there with other irs pukes. Seems like nice guy too ...
Flat tax. Do away with the IRS.
Flat tax. Do away with the IRS.
Yes. Trey Gowdy nailed him big time on this claim.
He then tore apart the lie that the republicans are after the WH.
And he started by tearing him apart about the loss/destruction of evidence.
My confidence that Benghazi will be handled correctly went way up after hearing this.
And I have the ability to say the sky is yellow, or the earth is flat, or that I am dating a supermodel. Doesn't mean it's true.
You have to parse the wording with these weasels.
You'd still need an IRS style collection and enforcement agency. Tweak a variation of the FairTax and phase it in instead.
The commissioner should be asked if the IRS would accept the lame lost emails excuse from any business or individual they were auditing and what punishment would be meted out to those who did. The IRS is not above the law and should be held to the same standards they would impose on taxpayers.