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Justice Department Said to Be Investigating Missing IRS E-Mails

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(Bloomberg) The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the loss of more than two years of e-mails from an Internal Revenue Service employee at the center of a controversy over how the agency handled Tea Party groups.

The disclosure was made in testimony prepared to be delivered Thursday by Deputy Attorney General James Cole before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The e-mails belonged to Lois Lerner, former director of tax-exempt organizations at the IRS.

“The investigation includes investigating the circumstances of the lost e-mails from Ms. Lerner’s computer,” Cole will say, according to the prepared testimony.

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The Justice Department and FBI have been investigating whether any crimes were committed by Lerner or others who gave extra scrutiny to Tea Party groups seeking nonprofit status. The May 2013 revelation of the IRS’s actions led to management changes at the agency and congressional investigations, in addition to the one being conducted by the Justice Department.

The IRS has blamed a crash of a computer hard drive for destroying some of Lerner’s e-mails between January 2009 and April 2011. The IRS has said that backup tapes were recycled and that the agency didn’t intentionally destroy any evidence.

The IRS inspector general is expected to issue a report soon about the damaged hard drive, which has become a point of contention as House Republicans accused the IRS of covering up information related to the scrutiny of Tea Party groups.

The Justice Department has been investigating the activities of Lerner and other IRS employees who handled tax-exempt groups since shortly after their activities became public.

“While I know you are frustrated by the fact that I cannot at this time disclose any specifics about the investigation, I do pledge to you that when our investigation is completed, we will provide Congress with detailed information about the facts we uncovered and the conclusions we reached in this matter,” Cole is expected to say.

3 Comments

Your tax dollars at work. We should sleep better at night knowing that the investigation is continuing to find the secret e-mails from five years ago. How about a little tax reform instead? No, it's way more fun to go on a witch hunt. Then stone the witch and burn at the stake, and our country will be better for it. ??

Posted by: Unknown | July 18, 2014 11:58 AM

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"we will provide Congress with detailed information about the facts we uncovered and the conclusions we reached in this matter".

I'm sure the Department of Justice is assigning their "best people" to this investigation. The sharpest lawyers and the most diligent, insightful investigators are working around-the-clock on this.

I mean, what is there to hide here? A Democratic party hack gets caught blatantly mixing politics with her job, a Deputy AG who owes his job to a Democratic AG who owes his job to a Democratic President--clearly there's nothing to see here, "oops, the dog ate her homework". This is all part of that "Hope and Change" thingy we were told about six years ago.

Posted by: thetallguy | July 18, 2014 9:59 AM

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I think this leaves 24 days (August 10 and 11) before the IRS "must tell it to the judge" under threat of perjury indictments. It will be interesting to learn who will sign the testimony to the court.

Posted by: Pewsbury | July 18, 2014 9:25 AM

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