[guest post by Dana]
The House committee investigating the IRS scandal subpoenaed Commissioner John Koskinen to testify on June 23 about the agency’s claims it cannot locate Lois Lerner’s missing emails which were supposedly lost when her computer crashed.
Clearly, Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has run out of patience:
“I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the Committee’s investigation of the IRS targeting,” Issa, R-Calif., said in a letter accompanying the subpoena. “For too long, the IRS has promised to produce requested – and, later, subpoenaed – documents, only to respond later with excuses and inaction.”
In the meantime, Sharyl Attkisson reminds us of Commissioner Koskinen’s testimony about Lerner’s emails given last March:
Koskinen said, at the time, it would be 2015 before the Committee got the documents it subpoenaed. That means he predicted it would take the tax agency a year and a half from the time the material was first requested to provide it.
Koskinen said the IRS uses Microsoft Outlook but that a simple search through a user’s “sent” and “in” boxes would not turn up the emails because “they’re stored somewhere.”
Koskinen indicated that seven months after the request, the agency had not yet begun serious work to turn over Lois Lerner’s emails. But he said, “We can find, and we are in fact searching, we can find Lois Lerner’s emails.” He made no mention of a computer or system “crash.”
Commenting from Air Force One about the missing emails, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissively sneered:
You’ve never heard of a computer crashing before?
When informed that emails are stored on servers and not hard drives, Earnest predictably went on the attack:
I think it’s entirely reasonable because it’s the truth and it’s a fact. And speculation otherwise I think is indicative of conspiracies that are propagated in a way that left people with a disinformation about exactly what occurred.
So a good-faith effort has been made by the IRS to cooperate with congressional oversight. The far-fetched skepticism expressed by some Republican members of Congress is not at all surprising and not particularly believable.
It will be interesting to see what June 23rd brings.