Amid new reports claiming that Louis Lerner's emails sought by Congress pursuant to claims the IRS targeted Tea Party groups are lost forever, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a blistering statement alleging that such federal records can only disappear like this through deliberate destruction.
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.
Issa is responding to claims in this Politico story. The claims below are certain to give critics even more energy in their efforts to get to the bottom of the ongoing scandal.
Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightening rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources.
“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, in a brief hallway interview.
SourceTwo additional sources told POLITICO the same late on Wednesday, citing IRS officials.