The IRS claims that Lois Lerner’s e-mails were wiped out by a ‘computer crash’

On Friday afternoon, the IRS apparently informed the House Ways and Means Committee that it cannot produce any e-mail correspondence from January 2009 to April 2011 between Lois Lerner and anyone outside the IRS – e.g., the White House, the Department of Justice, the FEC or Democratic congressional offices.  According to the IRS, these 28 months of e-mails were wiped out by a “computer crash.”

Here is the commissioner of the IRS, testifying before Congress in March that the e-mails of employees such as Lerner are “stored in servers.”  Here is a PowerLine post arguing that the “computer crash” excuse is “implausible to anyone who understands how email systems work.”  And here is House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) calling for “an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.”

If there were a New York Times story about these missing e-mails, I would provide that link as well.

UPDATE (June 16):  I am pleased to report that today, three days after the fact, the New York Times has posted a story about the missing emails.  Better late than never!

Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz is a Professor of Law at Georgetown, a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, and an occasional Broadway producer.
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