Make sure you’re comfortably seated before reading the shocking news that the Obama Administration has been lying about the destruction of IRS scandal kingpin Lois Lerner’s emails. According to a Justice Department attorney, the emails have been captured by a government backup system, but the government just doesn’t feel like digging them up, because it would be “too onerous.” Fox News reports:
In a stunning revelation, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch told Fox News that Justice Department attorneys have intimated that Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails likely exist in back-up computers.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the news came during a Friday phone call with Department of Justice attorneys representing the IRS in Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit against the IRS.
Fitton said DOJ attorneys told him the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure the continuity of government in event of a catastrophe. They told him that retrieving the emails from Lerner, a former IRS official, would be “too onerous” – a legal burden that can exempt an agency from complying with FOIA requests.
However, an administration official told Fox News Monday night, ??? There was no new back-up system described last week to Judicial Watch. Government lawyers who spoke to Judicial Watch simply referred to the same email retention policy that Commissioner (John) Koskinen had described in his Congressional testimony.???
The difference being, of course, that Koskinen said that “retention policy” failed to retain Lerner’s emails. Fitton invoked one of Vice President Joe Biden’s favorite words, “malarkey,” in describing his reaction:
Earlier, in describing the phone conversation, Fitton told Fox News,”So everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives about missing emails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it’s all been a pack of malarkey.
“They could get these records but they don’t want to, and they haven???t told anyone about it until we were able to get it out of them on Friday.”
Judicial Watch released a longer, malarkey-free official statement from Fitton:
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner???s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.
We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.
This is a jaw-dropping revelation. The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner???s missing emails. There are no ???missing??? Lois Lerner emails ??? nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be ??? but dishonestly withheld this information. You can bet we are going to ask the court for immediate assistance in cutting through this massive obstruction of justice.
We’ve also learned from filings in federal court that the IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s Blackberry after the congressional inquiry had begun, and after the “hard drive crash” story was floated. Naturally, no effort was made to recover subpoena-sensitive emails from her phone before it went to Blackberry Heaven.
What a fun little game this has been! The goal, of course, was to delay, delay, delay… drag the story out across multiple news cycles until the public’s attention was directed elsewhere. That tactic has been keeping the IRS scandal subdued for years. If the revelations all hit at once, in rapid succession, it’s devastating; spread the story out across dozens of news cycles, while other events pop into the American media consciousness like flashbulbs, and the story can be grilled into a double-patty nothingburger, with no real consequences for anyone involved. In an earlier era, the people who lied about Lerner’s emails would be in serious legal jeopardy, but that’s not how our corrupt super-government rolls any more. Some future historian will collect the whole story into a book, and the people of tomorrow will read it in amazement, wondering how the whole scandal could have played out without anyone going to jail, or even losing their jobs.
Sharyl Attkisson wonders if the Justice Department can be trusted to simultaneously investigate the IRS and represent the IRS in court. That’s not the only conflict, either, as it turns out DOJ Tax division attorney Andrew Strelka “used to work in the IRS group headed by Lois Lerner.” Another Justice Department employee, Nicole Siegel – liaison with Congress on the IRS investigation – “appeared to have maintained a close relationship with Lerner and previously worked for a political action committee to assist political fundraising for Democratic candidates,” according to House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa.
How cozy! It’s so strange that this investigation is dragging on forever, with so many “close relationships” between the various appendages of the Obama Administration.