Skip to comments.Lerner Hard Drive Was "Scratched"
Posted on 07/22/2014 3:10:50 PM PDT by kristinn
Washington, DC Despite early refusals to make available IT professionals who worked on Lois Lerners computer, Ways and Means Committee investigators have now learned from interviews that the hard drive of former IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner was scratched, but data was recoverable. In fact, in-house professionals at the IRS recommended the Agency seek outside assistance in recovering the data. That information conflicts with a July 18, 2014 court filing by the Agency, which stated the data on the hard drive was unrecoverable including multiple years worth of missing emails.
It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive, said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). The Committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical drive was recycled and potentially shredded. To now learn that the hard drive was only scratched, yet the IRS refused to utilize outside experts to recover the data, raises more questions about potential criminal wrong doing at the IRS.
It is also unknown whether the scratch was accidental or deliberate, but former federal law enforcement and Department of Defense forensic experts consulted by the Committee say that most of the data on a scratched drive, such as Lerners, should have been recoverable. However, in a declaration filed last Friday by the IRS, the agency said it tried but failed to recover the data, but is not sure what happened to the hard drive afterwards other than saying they believe it was recycled, which, according to the court filing means shredded.
Further complicating the situation, the Committees investigation has revealed evidence that this declaration may not be accurate. A review of internal IRS IT tracking system documents revealed that Lerners computer was actually once described as recovered. In a transcribed interview on July 18, IRS IT employees were unable to confirm the accuracy of the documents or the meaning of the entry recovered.
It is these constant delays and late revelations that have forced this investigation to go on so long, Camp added. If the IRS would just come clean and tell Congress and the American people what really happened, we could put an end to this. Our investigators will not stop until we find the full truth.
After the Supreme Court released its January 2010 decision in Citizens United, the IRS spent three years responding to Democrat complaints and calls to stop activities of conservative groups. The IRS in Washington, DC took these complaints as marching orders to subject Americans to harassment for their beliefs by subjecting applicants to extraordinary delay and inappropriate questions, audits, and by making their confidential tax information public.
At a May 10, 2013 legal event, Lerner admitted that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny based on their names and policy positions. Initially, President Obama vowed to work with Congress to get this thing fixed. Likewise, upon assuming leadership of the agency, IRS Commissioner Koskinen said his goal was to find problems quickly, fix them promptly, make sure they stay fixed, and be transparent about the entire process. Unfortunately, the Administrations professed eagerness to help Congress investigate the targeting quickly waned and it began obstructing the Committees investigation.
The most egregious recent example is the delay in notifying Congress of Lerners lost emails. On June 13, 2014, over 13 months into the investigation, and one month after the Committee was promised it would receive all Lerner emails without qualification, Congress learned that potentially thousands of Lerner emails were destroyed by the IRS. The IRS purportedly notified Congress in a letter sent to provide an update on the pace of production. Buried in the third attachment of the 27-page letter was the revelation that over two years worth of Lerners emails to and from individuals outside the IRS were lost due to an apparent computer crash that occurred in mid-2011. In later correspondence with the Committee, Treasury and the White House admitted learning of the lost emails in April 2014, two months before the IRS informed Congress.
The Committee immediately began investigating the matter. On the following Monday, the IRS Deputy CIO told staff that the agency was unable to retrieve information from Lerners malfunctioning hard drive, even after sending it to experts at the IRSs Criminal Investigations unit. When pressed by investigators about any other computer issues, the IRS admitted that six other IRS employees involved in the political targeting also experienced computer crashes.
Somebody bumped the record player.
Boy I tell ya the number of times I have scratched a Hard Drive...
It takes madskillz to drop da needle without scratching the platter, yo...
I suspect there were a good number of strategically situated hard drives that somehow managed to be “scratched”.
Funny how that happens.
And you will never get a straight answer from them.
This surprises you?
Like Obutthead said yesterday, when you try to keep investigators from the crash site, it looks like you are trying to hide something.
I will not buy this tobacconist’s. It is scratched.
Emails are not stored on a local PC’s hard drive.
This is such lying nonsense it is ridiculous to anyone who’s ever been in the I/T industry.
Do I even need to say it? Another lie. Either the drive was removed and dropped from a height of more than 20 feet or someone had to have opened it and "touched" a platter.
These arseholes at the IRS aren't even good liars.
I read something on NRO today about the IRS saying they still might have the “backup tapes” of those emails.
Tapes? TAPES? Didn’t the IRS spend billions a decade or so ago to redo their computers and they still use TAPE backup?
Little old ladies who can barely use an ATM have the cloud.
Anyone who has ever worked with a government agency knows that conflicting stories, confusion, and inefficiency are the norm. The very congressional investigation into this incident is hardly what I’d call focused and efficient. This is why anyone who wants to turn over more control to government is either diabolical or a moron. Government itself is a necessary evil—best kept small.
Emails are not stored on a local PCs hard drive.
Can you repeat that louder? Arghh...
Even an idiot knows the difference. Low information voters..
Why does anyone give a fart about Lerner’s hard drive? The emails are supposed to be on the email server!
“scratched”. Do they think we are really that stupid? Having opened up quite a few to repair them in my time I call BS.
Moral of the story: Do NOT knit anywhere near your hard drive.
The worst thing is that we all KNOW that the Great Traitor is going to pardon her on 19 January, 2017.
My wager is 08/23/14 @ 10:30AM with the tie breaker being the clock. Any takers?
Never show up with a nail and no hammer.
This circus is entertaining.
Right now, they are playing musical chairs to see who gets to go to prison...
Okay. Well, FU and this stupid rabbit chasing a ding’d hard drive. Super easy to get the info off one of those.
However, the larger issue is where the information was contained for the purpose of disaster recovery and continuity.
Her work product would be stored on a raid or a bank of independent hard drives in at least two different modular units, in the same data center.
It also stands to reason given the size of the IRS, the complexity of their network and laws requiring back up and logical redundancy that her work product would be stored at other data centers as well.
My simple email from a rather large firm is available always at data centers on shore and off shore.
How is it the IRS can’t recall her work product or that of at least 6 other people at IRS?
Wouldn’t her ability to perform her job be impaired, as well, any documents germain to a legal proceeding?
No way her work product is gone-0-la...
Ha! Try calling their help line at tax time...everyone has a different answer.
Sounds like Congress is more interested in what was on Lerner’s hard drive than HER EMAILS ON THE SERVER!!!!!
Meanwhile, Bob Woodward, award-winning “Journalist,” for uncovering all the impeachable offenses committed by President Nixon, sticks his “rapporter’s” head further up his own anus.
It was a laptop computer, which means she could have taken it home with her. That hard drive they removed from it might not be the same one it left with. If it was a "crashed" but recoverable drive somebody had laying around, recovering the data would have revealed the deception.
And that would explain the scratches.
Not all of them may be on the server. She apparently used her private laptop for a lot of these things, which I assume means that she took it home with her, etc. All of this carrying around of official business is highly illegal, of course, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone.
It’s not clear to me what computer they are looking at. But even leaving aside all other considerations, how in the world do you “scratch” a hard drive?
I will smile all the day when she dons her orange jumpsuit and gets the full cavity inspections that she deserves for her criminal behavior. I will smile all the more when all the willing associate accomplices get their designer suits also.
Criminal liars. Congress in its ineptitude are co-conspirators. These hobos should be in prison.
Force M.D.’s - Itchin’ For A Scratch (1985)
I’m in the industry and let me spell it out for you. Server space is limited and most companies have a mailbox size limit. Once you hit that limit, you archive your mail to a local pst file. Then old mail is deleted. That pst file is stored on your local hard drive. There are tape backups of the mail store on the server but those get recycled every so often depend on how you have things set up. Typically backups get stored with a company like iron mountain and they go back 7 years.
The IRS is likely using old junk because, like just about everyone else, they fail to spend properly on technology while handing out inflated bonuses to those at the top. Gov is corrupt and their magic money pot is almost always spent on the wrong thing.
If the IRS was running out of room on their mail store and using too small of mailbox limits, something is wrong and should be fixed. They are not following data retention laws and not investing properly to maintain compliance. They should suffer just as a private business would if not worse.
It's par for the IRS course. Ask them five times about a simple question on your 1040 and you will get five different answers.
An indication that someone in the administration is trying to walk back the destroyed hard drive story and take their lumps. I gotta think that some lawyers want to be able to work in their profession after Obama. Any lawyer that participated in these events could lose their licenses and maybe go to jail when the other party gets into power. Perhaps they are sensing Obama and the Donks are going to lose big time. Rats leaving a sinking ship of state. The people have had it with this guy. Now Congress should act.
Rope-a-dope hoping everyone will get tired and just
If someone as important as the Director of the IRS has a hard disk failure, wouldn’t the expense (couple thousand dollars) of a data recovery operation be justified?
Why was this disk destroyed, when it likely contained sensitive and valuable information (not just emails) that wasn’t backed up to a server?
Compared to the politicians of the 60s to 80s they are third rate criminals.
The homework was eating my dog and then the police shot it.
Herbie Hancock - Rockit
(lots of scratching going on here!)
Then those responsible need to be arrested and brought before a grand jury. Looks like a gotcha.
Tape backup is still common, will likly be for a while. It’s easy and cheap to backup and store off site which meets many contract requirements for DR.
If it’s a laptop hard drive, very simple, if you want to got the sinister rout.
Take out the screws that mount the HD to the case. Remove the HD. Then take a hammer or any blunt force object to it, gently. Perhaps even shake it hard.
The innocuous way : the “scratch” was likely the needle that reads the data scratching against the surface of the drive. It can happen from use over time, a power disruption while writing to the drive, etc.
It means the platter is scratched. If the head malfunctioned or the system was dropped while the drive was not parked, done...
Recovery from a scratched platter is hit or miss. Archived pst files may be intact but not if they are large which I can almost guarantee they are. There has to be a paper trail somewhere of who they sent the drive to or even if they did. If someone is saying the platter is scratched, the only way to know that is if someone opened the dive up and that was hopefully done by a recovery company.
That used to be fairly common practice. The problem with it is that in an organization of any substantial size having that email scattered out through the network on local .pst files makes legal discovery a nightmare.
The only people who would use this method are organizations that don't ever expect to have their email subpoenaed, and those that do but don't have any intention of complying.
Of course they go back. I’ve been at all levels in I/T.
The mail goes through exchange servers. They are lying through their teeth.
ya need to smash the platters.. not just scratch them, to really get the job done.
Ball peen hammer time!!
So now it’s scratched? What happened? The computer was dropped off the top of the IRS building”