The Two Year Gap

Do you remember how the IRS scandal began? It began when Lois Lerner made a speech and noted that the IRS erred and targeted conservative and Tea Party 501(c)(4) applicants. This occurred on a Friday afternoon.

Shock of shocks, another bit of news came out on a Friday afternoon of similar importance. The IRS is claiming that they lost Lois Lerner’s emails. For reasons I’ll get to in a few moments, this simply fails the smell test. The IRS says that they’ve made heroic efforts in attempting to recover the missing emails which cover a two-year period.

The problem with the IRS statement is simple: Email moves through email servers. Here’s a post on this at the Blaze with details on how email works. Here’s the concluding paragraph:

“I don’t know of any email administrator that doesn’t have at least three ways of getting that mail back,” [Norman Cilio, a former program manager at Microsoft] added. “It’s either on the disks or it’s on a TAPE backup someplace or in an archive server. There are at least three ways the government can get those emails.”

Mr. Cilio’s conclusion: The IRS is lying.

As an owner of a business in a regulated industry, I’m required to keep my emails (both coming and going). I’m not a technology wizard, but my IT person has told me that we do various backups that keep the information and store them in multiple ways. We use RAID technology–basically, a system where one hard drive is a copy of the working hard drive so if the working hard drive crashes, the backup immediately takes over with no loss of data.

PowerLine has a post noting that the IRS uses similar systems. Lois Lerner’s computer shouldn’t be relevant at all; it’s the IRS email servers and backup systems that are relevant.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp issued a statement that isn’t as pointed as it likely should be. An excerpt:

“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. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.

“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents. It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”

My conclusion is succinct: Either the IRS is deliberately lying or they have the worst IT department and policies of any company, organization, or government entity in the world. I am forced to conclude the IRS is lying.


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