As the Emails Churn…

The IRS Scandal continues to get uglier. Joe Kristan called it, “The dog ate my email….” All I know is that I’d end up in a new profession if I tried the excuses the IRS has given. But it got worse today.

First, attorney Cleta Mitchell represents “True the Vote.” TTV has sued the IRS and a number of its officials (including Lois Lerner). One rule in a lawsuit is that you can’t knowingly destroy evidence. Ms. Mitchell penned a letter to the IRS which was given to the PowerLine blog. An excerpt:

Therefore, the failure for the IRS to preserve and provide these records to the Committees would evidence either violations of numerous records retention statutes and regulations or obstruction of Congress.

Federal courts have held, in the context of trial, that the bad faith destruction of evidence relevant to proof of an issue gives rise to an inference that production of the evidence would have been unfavorable to the party responsible for its destruction.

Even if the various Congressional committees don’t get an answer, the IRS will be forced to give one in court. The letter from Ms. Mitchell goes further than the excerpt; it should be read in its entirety.

The various laws on record retention also come into play. There’s this report in pjmedia, where a former IRS IT specialist says that,

The IRS IT projects were fully funded and never lacked for resources. To state ‘Backup tapes were reused after some short period’ is a complete joke. The IRS had thousands and thousands of tapes and ‘Virtual Tape Libraries’ (VTL or non-tape backups based on hard drive storage technologies). There was never a reason to reuse tapes.

The other shoe fell today: Eliana Johnson reported that emails from six other IRS employees related to the scandal can’t be produced.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) subpoenaed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to appear next Monday (June 23rd) in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That’s a very short time frame for a subpoena, and I am certain that a message has been sent: Cut the b.s. and stop the excuses.

“I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the Committee’s investigation of the IRS targeting,” Issa, R-Calif., said in a letter accompanying the subpoena. “For too long, the IRS has promised to produce requested – and, later, subpoenaed – documents, only to respond later with excuses and inaction.”

What I wrote over the weekend still holds: Either the IRS has the most incompetent IT department in the world or the IRS is lying.


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