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IRS Now Claims Lois Lerner’s Hard Drive Was Destroyed

From an unquestioning Politico:

Sources: Lois Lerner’s emails likely gone forever

By RACHAEL BADE | June 18, 2014

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightening rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources.

“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a brief hallway interview. Two additional sources told POLITICO the same late Wednesday, citing IRS officials.

Why wasn’t this minor detail reported earlier? Why just say that Lerner’s emails were lost, and not mention that the drives were destroyed?

It may just be standard government procedure, but the revelation is significant because some lawmakers and observers thought there was a way that tech experts could revive Lerner’s emails after they were washed away in a computer crash in the summer of 2011.

It’s done every day. Especially in criminal investigations. (Which this should be.)

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), for example, subpoenaed her damaged hard drive earlier this week, when he asked for “all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers” and “all electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner.” “IT experts have weighed in and said yes — we can get those” emails, said Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) earlier Wednesday.

Which answers the question why the IRS is suddenly now claiming these disks were destroyed.

The latest news suggests such professionals may never get the chance to try again — and the IRS has even said its criminal investigators who specialize in rebuilding hard drives to recover hidden information from criminals were unable to restore the data back in 2011. But this is only likely to further enrage Republicans, who are fuming over the matter and suspect Washington officials drove the selective scrutiny…

Why should this only enrage Republicans? What about the news media? What about the American people? (Cf. Rosemary Woods.)

“We believe the standard IRS protocol was followed in 2011 for disposing of the broken hard drive. A bad hard drive, like other broken Information Technology equipment, is sent to a recycler as part of our regular process,” an IRS spokesman said in response to a query from POLITICO.

On Wednesday, the White House retorted that for the time frame in which Lerner’s emails are missing, there are no direct communications between 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and the now-retired Lerner…

Of course they will claim that now.

That’s because before May 2013, the IRS backed up emails only for six months on a tape, then recycled the tapes, so they essentially threw out the data. Many agencies do the same, transparency experts say…

Obama administration transparency experts.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 19th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “IRS Now Claims Lois Lerner’s Hard Drive Was Destroyed”

  1. GetBackJack says:


    If I issued a threat on Obama I’m pretty sure ‘sanitizing’ every IT device that ever even got near me would deflect the Searchers for only about ten seconds

    Go talk to the NSA

  2. Chrispbass says:

    No doubt. Anyone with *any* amount IT knowledge or anyone who actually knows *anything* about NSA snooping or *anything* about gov laws regarding *public servants* communications knows that this story is complete and utter BS. It’s great….1st we get: ‘we done lost the emails.’. Then someone with a brain comes back with ‘uhh we can get the data off those HDs w/a little effort…’. 2nd: ‘UHH they were actually destroyed. Yeah.”

    *sorry for my use of “*s”*

  3. canary says:

    Since when did the IRS thow discs away every 6 months and name the many agencies that do.
    I’ve never heard of any agency even in the private sector that doesn’t keep things for ten years minimum.

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