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

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read Politics



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Lisa Rein · June 19, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.