So Just HOW Did the Lois Lerner Hard Drive Get Scratched at the IRS?

What an amazing set of “coincidences.” “Failed” computers, prematurely “retired” equipment, dumping the IT backup vendor just after the investigation began: these guys make Watergate look like knocking off a kid’s lemonade stand.

As the Daily Caller reports,

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was “scratched” and the data on it was still recoverable. But the IRS did not try to recover the data from Lerner’s hard drive, despite recommendations from in-house IRS IT experts to outsource the recovery project.

The hard drive was then “shredded,” according to a court filing the IRS made to House Ways and Means Committee investigators.

The IRS claims that it lost Lerner’s emails from 2009 to 2011 including emails to and from the White House, when her computer crashed in the midst of the agency’s conservative targeting program. The IRS also claimed in a transcribed interview that many other IRS employees who worked under Lerner in her Washington, D.C. department and its Cincinnati-based affiliate also experienced computer crashes that deleted their emails, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20.”

How complicated is this? How long have I been saying “subpoena the IT guys”?

Guy Besnon at Townhall.com is exactly right!

It sure would be nice to get these IT experts on the record in sworn, public testimony — if only to witness Democrats’ epic excuse-making. Allahpundit snarks that even if a video emerged of Lerner beating her hard drive with a hammer, Elijah Cummings and friends would still be sneering about GOP “conspiracy theories.” Based on these reports, it sounds as if the IRS at first tried to deny investigators access to these professionals, who’ve since revealed that Lerner’s hard drive wasn’t irrevocably “crashed” when the matter was brought to their attention in 2011 — less than two weeks after Congressional Republicans first began asking questions about the agency’s (since-admitted) abusive targeting practices. According to the release, the IRS decided against “utilizing outside experts to recover the data” at that time. Why? IRS Commissioner John Koskinen recently testified under oath that the IRS did everything it could to recover all of Lerner’s files (before being forced to concede that they hadn’t actually done everything). Lerner’s lawyer has said the same, asserting that “every effort” was made to do so. This new evidence suggests that was not the case. A few questions: (1) What happened to the hard drive? After it was “scratched,” and someone allegedly made the call not to mine its recoverable data, was it then proactively destroyed? Or is it still floating around somewhere? Camp’s memo says the IRS “believes it was recycled.” (2) How does a hard drive get scratched, exactly? And how often does that sort of thing happen — unintentionally, that is?

I say throw the whole IRS staff in prison till someone decides to talk.

In fact, just defund and shut down the whole agency. It is “beyond recovery” unlike, it’s now fairly clear, Lois Lerner’s hard drive, which was intentionally damaged and destroyed to eliminate evidence in a criminal investigation that likely leads all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.