(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.

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