As if there hasn’t been enough controversy coming out of this Administration’s IRS, the most recent debacle is one for the ages. Last Friday, the IRS put out a statement claiming Lois Lerner’s emails from 2011, which are the focal point of the political targeting investigation, have vanished due to a systemic failure of her computer’s hard drive. This was only the beginning, however. Just a few days later, the IRS investigators claimed six additional hard drives, which happened to be a part of the investigation of the IRS targeting of conservative groups as well, seemed to have also failed and the IRS is now claiming their emails are also “gone forever.”
What’s most disturbing about the claims of vanished emails is the fact that the IRS is fully confident the American people are buying their story. Unfortunately for them, we’re not that naïve. For example: Lois Lerner’s sole statement regarding the IRS hard drive crash and her missing emails was, “Sometimes stuff just happens.” Clearly, this is not a woman who cares that this crucial evidence has vanished. Furthermore, it cannot be ruled out that she could have had a hand in the disappearance of these important emails. During the initial hearing of the missing emails, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen stated very calmly that, yes, “the actual hard drive [Lois Lerner’s] after it was determined that it was dysfunctional and that, with experts, no emails could be retrieved, was recycled then destroyed in the normal process.”
It has since been discovered that the IRS did indeed use back-up services from a contracted company named Sonasoft, which is a small Silicon Valley company with connections to – you guessed it – Barack Obama. Even more interesting is the fact that the IRS stopped using Sonasoft almost immediately after Lois Lerner’s hard drive supposedly crashed back in 2011. It would seem that the series of coincidental misfortunes on behalf of the IRS getting its act together, and allowing Congress to complete its investigation of conservative targeting are far more than mere coincidences. However, the arrogance and apparent lawlessness within the IRS are a cause for extreme concern. IRS Commissioner Koskinen has even gone as far as claiming the IRS has “hard drive crashes all the time” and it is due to their “outdated technology” that their systems have these failures. With a budget of $1.8 billion I am very hard-pressed to credit this as even a remotely valid excuse. During Friday’s hearing, Koskinen even went further, asking for pity (which he received from Democrat committee members) because the IRS just doesn’t have the funding to buy adequate technology to keep archives of their employees’ emails.
Give me a break!
None of these excuses come close to passing the smell test. During a Tuesday morning hearing this week U.S. Archivist David Ferriero confirmed that “the IRS did not follow the law” when they chose not to notify Congress as soon as they became aware emails had been expunged from their systems. This scandal, now, without a shadow of a doubt, has all the makings of a cover-up.
As I said over a year ago: a special counsel must be appointed to investigate the IRS scandal. In order to get accurate, unencumbered answers to this investigation, there must be an impartial special counsel appointed so that the American people can get the answers they deserve.