Federal Judge order IRS to explain Lois Lerner’s lost emails under oath - outline new plans to retri
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According to the IRS, Lois Lerner’s missing emails vanished in 2010 due to a hard drive crash. Despite all of their myriad backup procedures, they claim that this single computer held all the records of her correspondence and, despite their best efforts, they were irretrievable. To say that this explanation strains credibility is an understatement. If you’ve watched any of John Koskinen’s testimony, you’ve heard the claims and wondered: “Will there be any prosecutorial action taken?”
Well, now we may be a step closer. A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit, and is demanding answers - under oath. From the AP:
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to explain under oath how it lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency a month to submit the explanation in writing. Sullivan said he is also appointing a federal magistrate to see whether the lost emails can be obtained from other sources.
Sullivan issued the order as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group. He said the IRS declaration must be signed, under oath, by the appropriate IRS official.
They have just under a month to comply with the order, because
“I’m going to hold tight to that Aug. 10 declaration,” Sullivan said.
As the worst website in the world reported, this was just the beginning, because:
In addition to the written declaration, the judge also ordered that the government and Judicial Watch meet with Magistrate Judge John Facciola until Sept. 10 to discuss how the IRS can possibly obtain or recover the lost emails and documents from other sources. Judicial Watch is seeking information on what kinds of efforts the IRS has gone to in order to recover the lost information as well as how the agency is identifying additional sources, such as Lerner’s assistant, to try to find them.
....Following the judge’s order, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told reporters that it was “an extraordinary hearing” that shows Sullivan was “obviously interested on behalf of the public” in getting the IRS on the record about the emails. Fitton also said that appointing a magistrate as Sullivan did “rarely happens” in FOIA cases.
In other words, Judicial Watch will get a chance to pose all the questions people have been asking. If you’re wondering “couldn’t they just get the emails from other government computers?” That will be part of this process. “How about the computers on the other end of these conversations?” That too. “Has the IRS really done anything to retrieve these communications, and why weren’t they printed out as ordered by their own regulations?” Ditto.
Between this ruling, and Rep. Steve Stockman’s efforts to have Lerner arrested…
....The walls appear to be closing in on everyone’s least favorite IRS agent.