The Truth About the IRS Scandal? The Computer Ate It

Ah, those dear old days of school, when you hadn’t done your homework and told the teacher that Rover, the faithful family dog, had mistaken your project for kibble.

Such excuses are a little less endearing in grown-up life, especially when they involve matters such as turning over evidence in a congressional investigation.

The latest bit of stonewalling by the IRS in Congress’ investigation into the targeting of conservative groups for harassment involves the unlikely tale of two years of Lois Lerner’s emails and a computer crash.

Now the details of IRS computers are not widely known outside that agency, but I would speculate that the personal computers and laptops used by agency officials probably all hook up regularly and easily to the broader IRS network. This would seem to imply that, like most networks, individual work is saved on a server, which in turn is backed up nightly if not more often.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp said he had just recently been told about the alleged crash. “The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to congressional inquiries,” he said.

He is correct, if a bit obvious. The IRS has been dragging its feet in a way that it would never let taxpayers get away with.

The IRS says it has Lerner’s emails between 2009 and April 2011 to and from other IRS employees.

It’s just the ones to people outside the agency — such as, say, the White House — that have vanished.

So it’s one of those targeted computer crashes.

Kind of the way conservatives were targeted by the IRS.

Anyone see a pattern?

Unfortunately for the IRS, the NSA keeps records on EVERYthing, so Rep. Steve Stockman got on the phone (he has a pen, too, I hear). “I have asked NSA Director Rogers to send me all metadata his agency has collected on Lois Lerner’s email accounts for the period which the House sought records,” said Stockman. “The metadata will establish who Lerner contacted and when, which helps investigators determine the extent of illegal activity by the IRS.”


Rep. Charles Boustany chimed in, “If there is no smidgen of corruption, what is the administration hiding?”

Best guess: an entire mountain of corruption.