Issa: Back-up records of Lerner’s emails may exist
July 21st, 2014
08:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Issa: Back-up records of Lerner’s emails may exist

(CNN) - Copies of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails that were deemed unrecoverable might actually be retrievable, an IRS lawyer appeared to indicate in a recent testimony, according to House Republicans.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, selectively released information Monday about a closed session the committee held with IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane last week.

What's up with IRS emails? Key questions about the controversy

In his testimony, Kane did not rule out the possibility that tapes containing back-ups of Lerner’s emails exist, a contrast to what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a House hearing last month.

The committee and the Justice Department are both investigating the disappearance of Lerner’s emails, which the IRS said was due to a crash of her hard drive.

Lerner, who ran the division that executed the IRS targeting of groups claiming tax-exempt status, resigned last year after the Treasury Department's inspector general found those working under her used "inappropriate" criteria to scrutinize certain groups.

The missing emails were dated around the same time as the scrutiny, from 2009 to mid-2011.

Koskinen explained to the committee last month how the IRS had tried to retrieve the emails, but said even back-up tapes no longer existed because they had been recycled, which he said weren’t uncommon for large organizations.

But Issa is highlighting the recent interview with Kane, who said he doesn’t know whether that back-up data exists, but added that “it’s an issue that’s being looked at” by the Treasury’s Inspector general’s office.

The same lawyer, according to Issa, said other IRS officials could have had computer problems, including people who worked in Lerner’s division.

Reached by CNN, the IRS had no comment about the remarks from Kane, attributed to information from Issa’s committee.

The agency pointed to Koskinen’s testimony last month.

Issa has another hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

CNN’s Kevin Bohn and Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Darrell Issa • IRS
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Lizzie

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    salty dog

    Gotta keep the circus going, cost, no problem.
    Quite true. The only time that you hear Republicans moan about cost is when one of their own is being investigated, i.e. Christie. Then it is not an investigation but a "witchhunt".
    --so let's stop BOTH and call it a draw, or maybe democrats don't lie, republicans do.

    July 22, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Lily

    Issa expert in retrieving documents. He can also find a needle thrown into grass.

    July 22, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Sniffit

    Yeah, the ole "prove a negative question" during a depo:

    "It's possible that backups might exist, isn't it."

    "I suppose so, but I've never seen any."

    "But it's still possible then?"

    "Maybe...I suppose anything's possible."

    "Have you reviewed all computer logs and hard drives and all IRS records under the sun to be sure of whether these backups exist or not?"

    "No, that would be physically impossible for one person to do."

    "So as you sit here today, you can't tell me...and remember you're under oath, sir...with absolute certainty that you know for a fact that no backups exist?"

    "No, of course I can't."


    July 22, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "He's right. They might exist somewhere. I'd bet that they're on a shelf in some secret archive sitting in between the GWB administration's million missing emails and the broken hyperspace drive that was recovered from Area 51. "

    Yep, right under the crate containing the Ark of the Covenant where they stored it at the end of Indiana Jones...Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis are the curators there of course, and only they know which crate contains Obama's real birth certificate.

    July 22, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "A Bridgegate judge has ruled that the woman's emails are protected under the 5th Amendment. How come Lerner's emails are not given the same status?"

    Have you forgotten, Rudy? IOKIYAR

    July 22, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. salty dog

    Lather rinse, repeat. He's beat this dead horse so badly, any thing he comes up with will be suspect anyway, but since the other option is working on what the people want, here we are, never ending drama. You see what CBS got for carrying their water, the need for a national apology, now they know why we have no allies in Europe anymore, thanks George, he's the gift that keeps on giving.

    July 22, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |

    The Obama administration has done everything possible to stonewall this investigation. What a travesty that they have targeted Americans.

    July 22, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. salty dog

    She's a registered Republican, her husband is deeply involved in gop politics, are we to believe that she was given orders to break the law for Obama, help the democrats, and she obliged? She willfully tried to hurt her own party? I just don't understand them, is their electorate really that easily confused. The fact that she's protecting herself, shows her understanding how far her party will go, they've got the bus fired up, new tires, and ready to roll.

    July 22, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. sifto77

    At least Issa is working to get at the truth..cant say the same for other dems in the senate.

    July 22, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. yeahright

    Any chance they can find out who shot Kennedy?

    Obama. Give Issa about 10 years and a few hundred million tax dollars, and he'll prove it.

    July 22, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Rudy NYC


    At least Issa is working to get at the truth..cant say the same for other dems in the senate.
    And what truth might that be that Issa is working towards? As near as I can tell he seems to be seeking only *confirmation* of his theories, while ignoring facts that serve as *denials* of his theories. What Issa has been doing goes against the grain of everything in our Bill of Rights. You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until you're proven guilty.

    July 22, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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