(Bloomberg) U.S. lawmakers argued late into the night over a computer hard drive that crashed in 2011, taking the controversy surrounding the Internal Revenue Service to a new level of acrimony.

Republicans said the broken device that belonged to former IRS official Lois Lerner is crucial evidence in their investigation of the agency and said the IRS was covering up its misdeeds. Lerner headed the IRS office that gave extra scrutiny to small-government groups seeking tax-exempt status.

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