Who knew the IRS was so playful? And that hide-and-seek would be their favorite game?
After all—you just try playing it with them, and see how far it gets you.
Nevertheless, the revelations just keep coming:
We all know by now that Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed in June 2011 and was destroyed by IRS. The emails of up to twenty other related IRS officials were missing in remarkably similar “crashes,” leading many to speculate that Lois Lerner’s Blackberry perhaps held the key. Now, the Observer can confirm that a year after the infamous hard drive crash, the IRS destroyed Ms. Lerner’s Blackberry—and without making any effort to retain the emails from it…
With incredible disregard for the law and the Congressional inquiry, the IRS admits that this Blackberry “was removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.” This is a year after her hard drive “crash” and months after the Congressional inquiry began.
The IRS did not even attempt to retrieve that data. It cavalierly recites: “There is no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any Blackberry device assigned to Lois Lerner in response to the Congressional investigations or this investigation,” according to Stephen Manning, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Strategy & Modernization.
“This investigation” is the suit filed by Judicial Watch nearly a year ago against the IRS under the Freedom of Information Act:
…to compel the agency to produce records of all communications relating to the review process for organizations seeking 501(c)(4) non-profit status since January 1, 2010. The lawsuit also asks the court to order the IRS to provide records of communications by former IRS official Lois Lerner concerning the controversial review and approval process.
It’s this same suit that revealed that oh yes, all of Lerner’s emails probably exist on a back-up system, but it would be too “onerous” to retrieve them.
Try playing that game with the IRS, too.
By the way, Judge Sullivan of the DC District Court is the same Judge Sullivan who ruled that prosecutors in the Ted Stevens case were guilty of gross misconduct. Sullivan is an African-American, a graduate of Howard University and Howard Law School who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, promoted to the DC Court of Appeals by Bush I, and to the DC District Court by Bill Clinton. It’s an interesting bipartisan history.