- The Washington Times - Friday, June 27, 2014

The government accountability group Judicial Watch filed a legal motion Friday that threatens to drag the Obama administration into federal court to answer questions about the lost emails of ex-IRS official Lois Learner and others implicated in the tea party targeting scandal.

Judicial Watch, which was at the forefront of exposing the targeting scandal, had filed a Freedom of Information Act request in May 2013 for emails of Ms. Lerner and other officials. But the IRS did not inform the group of the lost emails, even as it told the court that it was cooperating with the FOIA request.

“The IRS is clearly in full cover-up mode,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is well past time for the Obama administration to answer to a federal court about its cover-up and destruction of records.”

The new court action would require the IRS appear in court to explain its actions regarding the lost emails and answer questions about it.

The IRS became aware of the lost emails in response to the Judicial Watch request but didn’t inform Congress until this month, according to Judicial Watch.

The lost emails from Ms. Lerner, who is the central figure in the tea party targeting scandal, has spurred cover-up accusations and conspiracy theory among lawmakers. The IRS has insisted a hard-drive crash permanently erased two years of Ms. Lerner’s email, covering the time during the 2012 election cycle in which the tax agency targeted tea party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny for tax-exempt status.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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