A federal judge wants to know more about that monstrous electronic dog who has been eating the IRS’ homework, as reported by Fox News:
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Thursday ordered the IRS to provide a new sworn declaration giving more details about Lerner???s computer troubles, just days after the IRS submitted several to the court as part of a case brought against the agency by a conservative watchdog group.
Sullivan said the IRS must provide the declaration from an official with the ???authority to speak under oath for the agency??? by August 22. IRS officials previously said under oath that Lerner???s emails were lost when her computer crashed, and technicians were unable to recover the drive???s data.
Sullivan said the explanation must include how the IRS attempted to retrieve the emails of Lerner, a central figure in the agency???s targeting of conservative groups, from alternative sources such as mobile devices. Sullivan also asked the IRS to explain in detail how the agency tracks hard drives when they are being serviced and provide information from an outside source to verify the agency???s policy regarding the destruction of hard drives.
So the IRS submits sworn documents, the judge looks them over for a couple of days, and decides it’s not good enough? Wow. I think we’d all like to know more about the IRS’ policies for destroying hard drives, since they’ve been destroying so many of them lately. It’s been like a hard drive skeet shoot over there. Question: Is it safe for former Tax Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner to fly on commercial aircraft, since she evidently emits a magnetic field that causes computers to crash all around her?
President Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, whose Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought this mess into Judge Sullivan’s court, praised the order:
“In an extraordinary step, U. S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan has launched an independent inquiry into the issue of the missing emails associated with former IRS official Lois Lerner.
“Previously, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to produce sworn declarations about the IRS email issue by August 11. Today???s order confirms Judicial Watch???s read of this week???s IRS??? filings that treated as a joke Judge Sullivan???s order.”
Another victim of the Obama Homework-Eating Dog was the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The House Energy and Commerce Committee noticed CMS was part of “a pattern of this Administration’s inability to properly preserve records,” as they put it in a letter to administrator Marilyn Tavenner on Friday. Ten months after requesting documentation concerning the disastrous launch of ObamaCare, the House committee was told by Tavenner that a pile of her emails might have been gobbled up by the Homework-Eating Dog. Funny thing: one of the emails that was handed over contained instructions from Tavenner to a subordinate, on October 5, 2013, to “delete an email communication featuring a number of White House representatives.”
Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight Subcommitteee chair Tim Murphy invited Ms. Tavenner to swing round their hearing room and answer a few questions about that:
1. Why did you ask Julie Bataille, the Director of Communications for CMS, to delete the conversation featuring White House representatives you had sent to her?
2. Did you direct HHS or CMS staff to delete or otherwise destroy e-mails, communications, or any other documents relating to HealthCare.gov? Please identify and produce those documents to the Committee.
3. How will you or CMS determine whether other emails, communications, or any other documents are permanently lost?
4. What is the basis for the redactions contained in the October 5, 2013 email to your subordinate? The HHS cover letter to the Committee which accompanied this email indicates that some redactions have been done to address “longstanding Executive Branch institutional interests.” What are the Executive Branch interest(s) that are being redacted in an email that you are asking to be deleted?
They also want to know what other interesting heavily-redacted documents Tavenner might have neglected to provide, ten months after they were requested, and “the number of documents you have submitted for White House review.” I would have followed up by asking how many of those documents have been mulched by the White House and spread across the flowers in the Rose Garden, but that’s why I don’t work for a congressional committee, I guess.
Well, at least CMS has taught us something important about the Homework-Eating Dog: it comes when you whistle for it.