- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Fighter over missing IRS emails goes from Congress to court
Question of the Day
Legal watchdog group Judicial Watch and voter-rights group True the Vote are pursuing separate cases trying to get to the bottom of Ms. Lerner’s emails and the IRS’s targeting of conservative and tea party groups.
Judicial Watch, which has forced release of a number of key IRS documents in the scandal, said the agency broke the law by not informing them of Ms. Lerner’s 2011 computer hard drive crash, which IRS officials say has likely caused some of her emails to be lost forever.
Meanwhile, True the Vote, which argues it was unfairly targeted, wants the court to order an independent examination of IRS computers “to prevent any further destruction of evidence, whether inadvertent or intentional.”
A hearing on True the Vote’s motion is scheduled for Friday.
The moves come after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Republicans on Capitol Hill have repeatedly clashed over the lost emails and over whether the agency took enough steps to try to recover them.
But Daniel J. Metcalfe, who served as the founding director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy for more than 25 years, said even Mr. Koskinen could only provide so much information.
“You don’t want the guy at the top who doesn’t have direct knowledge of anything. You want the electronic records manager — the guy to whom Lois Lerner and any other crash victims would have gone for email restoration so that they could continue their work,” said Mr. Metcalfe, now the executive director of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University’s Washington College of Law.
“It does seem quite suspicious that the employees engaged in controversial activities here had computer crashes, as opposed to there being a systemic crash. And it is awfully suspicious that the agency has been unable to reconstruct through a back-up system what it says was lost,” he said.
Judicial Watch, a conservative group that advocates for more government transparency, had sought communications from Ms. Lerner and other IRS employees regarding the review and approval process for tax-exempt organizations and sued in October, after which the agency began to produce some records on a rolling basis.
The group said the IRS’s “apparent destruction” of records and failure to notify the court of the missing emails necessitated an immediate conference.
True the Vote, a group that works to pass stronger voter ID laws, first sued the IRS last May in a bid to secure its tax-exempt status, which was subsequently granted in November.
District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who granted the hearing in Judicial Watch’s case, also appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the corruption trial of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and upbraided federal prosecutors for intentionally withholding evidence when he threw out Mr. Stevens’ convictions on charges of ethics violations.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- Wilder, Cuccinelli may be called as witnesses in McDonnell trial
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Mich. congressman returns Commerce award after group endorses opponent
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world