Well, look at that. The Justice Department has confirmed to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch that the emails of several IRS officials, including those of Lois Lerner, still exist, despite claims that they’d been lost due to hard-drive crashes and destroyed backup tapes:
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Justice Department lawyers informed him that the federal government keeps a back-up copy of every email and record in the event of a government-wide catastrophe.
The back-up system includes the IRS emails, too.
“So, the emails may inconvenient to access, but they are not gone with the [broken] hard drive,” Judicial Watch spokeswoman Jill Farrell told the Washington Examiner.
Judicial Watch is now seeking the release of the emails, which Justice Department lawyers say would be hard to find because of the significant size of the backup system.
Yeah, Judicial Watch is probably the least of the Justice Department and IRS’s concerns. The House Oversight and Government Reform and House Ways and Means committees, both of which are investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, aren’t going to care how difficult of a task it will be to recover these emails.
There’s also IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who has been uncooperative with congressional committees and investigators. He claimed that the emails had been lost due to technical problems, and there was nothing that could be done to recover them. And, then, the IRS official in charge document compliance revealed that the backup tapes on which Lerner’s emails are stored could still be around. Koskinen confirmed that fact a day or two later.
Needless to say, House committees investigating the IRS scandal could have a field day with this. One would imagine that Koskinen will, once again, be forced to go to the Hill for hearings over the issues, where he’ll be subject to more harsh testimony, perhaps even more assertions that he lied under oath in his previous visit. And the thing is, both Koskinen and the IRS deserve every bit of scrutiny they’ve received and what will undoubtedly continue to come their way.