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. Gary

    Nothing to worry about with the emails. Issa has it all figured out in his mind.

    July 21, 2014 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Hopefully Darrel will get the rest of the e-mails to go along with the hundred thousand he already has, then everyone will see this was just another fruitless right wingnut witch hunt.

    July 21, 2014 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Kane reported that more computers "crashed" and when asked he said "less than 20". Its ridiculous that an agency can just destroy all the computers and not be held accountable. Its time for a special prosecutor.

    July 21, 2014 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. king

    old issa is back at it again, i wonder if dem had used this kind of tenacity with bush using the irs to audit the NRCP wonder if bush would be behind bars right now. i am not even going to mention the 13 benghazies, the fake war that killed thousands which happened under the bush admistration how about the great recession, could you imagine a mild recession happening under obama, the repub would go slap out their minds... when i think about it, all ive seen for the last 5 years is growth, jobs, stock market boom, and peace and traquility. on the negativ side, benghazi, IRS both fake scandals, children coming cross the border, and the VA scandal . i dont weather to put ibanacare on the negative positive side, because the right wingers will have a fit if you say anything good about it. any ways the negatives so far add up to a 1 in 200 compare to the bush administ

    July 21, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well.. duh.... She wrote them to someone....

    July 21, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. david saint

    smh once again Issa selectively produces info, while hiding other info that might refute his narrative

    July 21, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  7. marilyn boyd

    Why doesn't Issa give up and go home to California?

    July 22, 2014 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  8. Smitty

    Whether you like him or not Issa seems to be one of the FEW that actually works

    July 22, 2014 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  9. ProudDem

    The key words there being "selectively released". Issa does this all the time.

    July 22, 2014 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  10. Thomas

    Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is more then a psychic pokemon .

    He knows where they moved the WMDs in Iraq .

    July 22, 2014 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  11. Michael MN

    And the easter Bunny might exist , Now thanks to Issa and the rest of the do nothing gop any group can now get tax exempt status regardless of what they do and the IRS will do nothing

    Odd how those that complain about the debt do there best to make sure less and less revinue is coming in

    July 22, 2014 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  12. Marie MD

    It's a shame that the car thief gets off by these issues whether it's the truth or not.
    Then again, criminals are really not that smart are they?

    July 22, 2014 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  13. salty dog

    Gotta keep the circus going, cost, no problem.

    July 22, 2014 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  14. Ted Steiner

    Interesting how CNN can report one IRS official stating a fact under oath, and another stating the opposite under oath, and call it a "contrast".

    July 22, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  15. just asking

    of course they are out there. the lies of the obama administration will be revealed yet again. they are just dragging this out hoping to rope a dope and stonewall everybody and until obama leaves office.

    July 22, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Justafool – Give up the Fox garbage you spew every day. You really need to deal with your hate issues.

    July 22, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    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.

    This investigation alone has cost taxpayers millions upon millions. Had they spent this much money in the IT Dep't over at the IRS, Issa would have his emails. Here's the part that I don't get. Lerner took the 5th, and so did that little blond woman involved in the Bridegate scandal with Gov. Christie. 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?

    July 22, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  18. Jeff

    Of course copies still exist! The NSA has them stored at the Ministry of Truth. Mr. Nobody is analyzing them right now...but good luck getting a copy,

    July 22, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. 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".

    July 22, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. Marty

    Any chance they can find out who shot Kennedy?

    July 22, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. George

    If you have nothing to hide then democrats would not spend so much time trying to hide the emails. Since they are, guess what?

    July 22, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Jeff wrpte"

    Of course copies still exist! The NSA has them stored at the Ministry of Truth. Mr. Nobody is analyzing them right now...but good luck getting a copy,
    Sorry, but they're gone from the NSA archives. Snowden stole them. Seriously, though, it has long been established that due to technical limitations imposed by their budgets, the archive tapes are recycled every six months. It would be up to individual employees whether or not to "archive" their own personal emails for periods longer than six months.

    I don't mind Issa doing this, though. How long is it going to take Issa to figure out that the American people do mind?

    July 22, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  23. guest

    a ms exchangeemail inbox size of 150 mb wont even hold 6 months of emails, so they have to be archived (downloaded off of the server). The archive file will be rather large, meaning you cant just save endless amounts of archive files to network shares, or you quickly run out of server space, meaning the archived emails were most likely saved on her local machine (or burned to dvd).
    Tape back up systems snap shot your entire server structure on a set schedule, and are not really used for long term storage, but as a way to recover from a critical loss such as nasty virus infection or the network share server failing. It is not uncommon to only have a short time saved on tape backups, as you would need a whole secure facility to house the tapes, they are fairly bulky medium. We were using tape back up in late 90's at my organization, it is pretty out dated solution.

    It sounds to me like the infrastructure ITS at the IRS are limited and pretty outdated. It would be hard to imagine they lose mission critical documents such as tax forms, and I imagine almost all of their resources go to protecting such documents. It is not hard to imagine though that a local hard drive crash would lose emails, as those emails would almost have to be saved locally somewhere to store more than 2 or 3 years of emails.

    July 22, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  24. guest

    Issa: We need top men recovering the emails.

    IRS: who can recover them?

    Issa: Top. Men.

    July 22, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  25. Bill from GA

    " if we eliminate Obamacare, that will save around 12 Billion a year that I can use to continue my investigations "

    (OK, I admit, I made that up. He didn't SAY it, but he's thinking it.)

    July 22, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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