Issa suggests IRS may have deliberately ‘lost’ Lerner e-mails

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) this week questioned the Internal Revenue Service’s intentions in destroying a hard drive from former IRS official Lois Lerner, a central figure in the agency’s targeting controversy.

The Republican lawmaker, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement on Thursday that the action may represent “proof that their whole line about ‘losing’ e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception.”


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).(AP Photo/Cliff Owen).

“Official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention,” Issa added.

The IRS said it followed agency protocol after Lerner’s computer crashed three years ago, causing the agency to lose many of her e-mails from 2009 through 2011.

MORE: IRS lost e-mails from official in tea party probe

“A bad hard drive, like other broken information-technology equipment, is sent to a recycler as part of our regular process,” the IRS said in a statement on Thursday.

The agency has said it plans to provide 24,000 additional Lerner e-mails from the 2009-2011 time period by searching the files of dozens of other individuals.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to federalworker@washpost.com.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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