Time to start putting folks in jail, beginning with Lois Lerner. No more kid gloves.
“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” Politico quotes Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as having said “in a brief hallway interview.”
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) subpoenaed Lerner’s damaged hard drive earlier this week after the IRS reported that a computer crash in 2011 had destroyed key Lerner emails in the investigation into the IRS’ alleged targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups.
Some technology experts have said that because emails are required to be backed up and stored on servers, they are still retrievable. However, others have said the crucial materials were only retained for six months.
“We believe the standard IRS protocol was followed in 2011 for disposing of the broken hard drive. A bad hard drive, like other broken Information Technology equipment, is sent to a recycler as part of our regular process,” an IRS spokesman told POLITICO.
Issa’s office issued a statement tonight saying, “If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about ‘losing’ e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception. Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention.”
Time to call every IT person and administrator involved in this fiasco before Congress—current and former employees—letting each of them know, explicitly, before they testify that if they don’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth that they’re going down for a long, long time.
This needs to be done, immediately, before the guilty have any additional time to destroy evidence, and coerce witnesses.
Abusing power using the IRS is as bad as it gets. Time to stop playing around, and go all Guantanamo on these people. Enough is enough.