Two federal judges lay smackdown on IRS over ‘lost’ emails
Freedom Outpost – Lily Dane – 7/13/2014
From The Daily Signal:
In the Judicial Watch case, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS and the watchdog group to work cooperatively with another federal judge to recover Lerner’s emails, which IRS officials have said were destroyed when a computer hard drive crashed.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called the decision “a victory for public accountability.” Fitton expressed optimism about eventual recovery of emails, calling Judge John Facciola “an expert in e-discovery.”
On Friday, in a hearing examining a lawsuit brought by True the Vote, Judge Reggie Walton gave the IRS until July 18 to find out what happened to the crashed hard drive responsible for erasing two years worth of Lerner’s emails. He also wants to know if the hard drive is traceable through a serial number.
If the information is gone, Walton said he wants an affidavit written under penalty of perjury by an IRS IT professional with “firsthand knowledge” of the situation, reports Politico.
The revelation adds to lawmakers’ concerns about the agency’s handling of documents related to their current inquiry into the agency’s alleged targeting of conservative tea-party groups for burdensome scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status. Republicans already have criticized the IRS for losing about two years’ worth of emails that could be important to the probe, largely because a computer hard drive belonging to a former top IRS official, Lois Lerner, crashed in mid-2011. Backup tapes also were routinely reused after six months.
The latest emails suggest that IRS officials had a separate instant-messaging system that also wasn’t preserved. (source)
On Thursday, Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman filed a resolution demanding that the House use a little-exercised power to arrest Lerner.
From his press release:
“Asking the Justice Department to prosecute Lois Lerner for admittedly illegal activity is a joke. The Obama administration will not prosecute the Obama administration. How much longer will the House allow itself to be mocked? It is up to this House to uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who illegally targeted American citizens for simply having different ideas than the President.
Democrats have openly stated the House has the powers to arrest those in contempt of Congress and imprison them in the Capitol. I don’t want to go as far as Democrats in exercising the House’s powers to arrest. Ms. Lerner will be held in the D.C. jail.
Under the resolution Lerner would be held in the D.C. jail and would have full legal rights and access to an attorney.
It’s time to for House to stop tacitly endorsing this administration’s illegal activity by refusing to hold him accountable. I expect Democrats to defend and even praise criminal activity. The question is whether Republican leadership will join them in mocking the House and breaking the law.”