Wow. IRS Caught in a Huge Lie

I had no problem assuming the "lost" IRS emails were incompetence rather than criminal evidence tampering.  After all, how hard is it to believe the government is incompetent?

But it may be in this case it really was fraud.  Suddenly the emails have been found, and they were apparently always there  -- despite all protestations to the contrary, no one in the IRS had even asked for them.  From the WaPo:

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Thursday that it tracked down nearly 33,000 emails from ex-IRS official Lois Lerner.

The records date back to 2001, which is 10 years beyond what the IRS has said it could access for investigators.

The inspector general’s office said it is working to identify any messages that the IRS has not already sent to congressional investigators, who are examining the Lerner’s involvement in the IRS targeting scandal.

The watchdog agency found the backed-up emails by consulting with IRS information-technology specialists, according to TIGTA Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Tim Camus.

They were right where you would expect them to be,” he said at the rare late-night hearing, which lasted until about 10 p.m.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress last year that the backups were no help in recovering Lerner’s lost emails, in part because the IRS overwrites them every six months.

Camus said the IRS’s technology specialists told investigators that no one from the agency asked for the tapes, raising doubts about whether the agency did its due diligence in trying to locate Lerner’s emails, or possibly greater troubles.



  1. HenryBowman419:

    It has become clear that virtually no one in the current Administration ever tells the truth about anything, except inadvertently (e.g., Mr. Gruber).

  2. Not Sure:

    Wow. The government lies! In other news, the sky is blue, water is wet and things fall to the ground if you drop them from the roof.

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    So, the IRS does have a proper enterprise grade email system after all and they were just outright lying to congress.

    Why am I neither surprised nor shocked?

  4. mesaeconoguy:

    Yep, jail time for Mr. Koskinen, and hopefully Ms. Lerner.

  5. Not Sure:

    If they were running a business in the private sector, sure. But government officials? How often do hear about them going to jail, anyway?

  6. Matthew Slyfield:

    Once or twice every couple of thousand years.

  7. mesaeconoguy:

    When you reach certain “thresholds of tolerance,” the population tends to avail themselves of extra-legal remedies.

  8. Not Sure:

    Well, yes- there's that.

  9. Not Sure:

    My theory is- if government workers do anything that might involve sending other government workers to jail, who's to say when they won't find themselves ending up there some day, too? So- they don't. But the private sector? Aside from being where all the money the government gets to play with comes from, who really cares about them?

  10. Matthew Slyfield:

    I'm quite sure that your theory is at least part of the answer. However, I personally think that there is also a lot of Nixonian "if the government does it then it's automatically legal" type thinking among government workers.

  11. Joe:

    Now the media will declare this to be 'old news' and any attempt to discuss it only proves that you are a racist.

  12. Bram:

    Everyone with any IT knowledge knew it all along.

  13. marque2:

    What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?

  14. Craig Loehle:

    I was saying at the time that they did not even ask the IT guys, and I was right. The classic move of administrators is to just put their head down and hope a problem goes away. "don't do anything" is their most clever move.

  15. Nimrod:

    As Bram said, everyone who knows anything about IT systems knew they were lying from the beginning about emails being "lost". When emails are sent, they get cached in multiple locations including on all the receiving workstations running mail clients. Even with no backup tapes, they could be recovered off of multiple workstations possibly without forensic techniques.

    The only incompetence here is the technology ignorance of the people attempting the cover up, and considering that we're talking about government career bureaucrats here, technological ignorance is extremely easy to believe. Fortunately, in this case, their ignorance has worked in the interest of the public.

    One would hope that multiple people will be indicted on obstruction of justice charges, but given the level of corruption present in the Obama/Holder "social justice department" I would expect more obstruction of justice from the justice department itself.

    Obama's reelection was unbelievable, and I fear that it represents the tipping point where voting to get free stuff has overtaken voting for equal protection under the law in this country. If this is what has happened then this country will essentially be the same as Mexico in less than a few decades. And if you don't think its possible, well there's Mexico sitting right there to prove that such a place can exist.

  16. SDN:

    Why do you think they're trying to interfere with the ammo supply?

  17. bigmaq1980:

    I was about to respond, but saw this great write-up.

    It is absolutely true that those with technical knowledge in this area (or, general understanding of IT concepts, plus some pondering on how emails must work) found the claims of "lost" emails more than absurd.

    The chance coincidences of incompetence, error, and technical failure to the degree that all emails would be "lost" / beyond recovery, would have to be equal to winning the Power Ball three times in a row.

    A few observations:

    1) It is clear that the IRS (and other officials - WH?) stonewalled and lied their way through this;
    2) It is wildly strange that Congress (at least in the GOP dominated House oversight committees) had not subpoenaed their own IT experts to explore the plausibility of their claims to force a more credible response from the IRS (perhaps many would plead the 5th, but then we'd know there really is an issue). Maybe I am wrong and perhaps the Treasury IG is working at Congress' behest?
    3) It is equally strange that any in the media (including FOX) hadn't explored this further. Like a dog chasing a ball, they run after the next ball thrown and ignore the first.

    The tipping point is not the voting.

    It is when media does not investigate issues that need it, nor challenge narratives, but, instead, seem to actively either cheerlead for "their side" or hide inconvenient facts to protect "their side".

    It is when Congress cannot even function as a counter balance to the Executive, and the Executive branch is able to get away with lies, obfuscations, all the way to ignoring laws or effectively making new ones.

    This has been building for some time, only accelerating under Obama.

  18. bigmaq1980:

    "I had no problem assuming the "lost" IRS emails were incompetence rather
    than criminal evidence tampering. After all, how hard is it to
    believe the government is incompetent?"

    Aside from the lack of credibility in their claims, what does that tell us about government's ability to keep our private data safe?

  19. NL7:

    What were the tech folks doing for nearly two years? I find it hard to believe they hadn't heard of this issue, but the revelations make it sound like TIGTA found them rather than any whistleblowers pointing out their bosses lied. Maybe the TIGTA evidence is being framed that way to protect whistleblowers. It seems odd to think that the information services department just sat there passively instead of defending themselves and their processes, knowing that nobody even talked to them about this tech issue.

  20. vikingvista:

    "if the government does it then it's automatically legal" type thinking among government workers."

    Not just among government workers, unfortunately.

    But since the lion's share of government workers belong in jail for what they do *legally*, I imagine the whole legal/illegal dichotomy is perceived by them as little more than a technicality. The distinction is blurred even further by the fact that that perception is usually correct.