[guest post by Dana]
UPDATE: I’ve added the video clip of Rep. Paul Ryan’s push back.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen went before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning and said that he does not believe he owes an apology for the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails nor for the delay in notifying Congress of the missing emails, claiming he first wanted to know just the how far-reaching the situation was.
“I don’t think an apology is owed. Not a single email has been lost since the start of this investigation.
There was push back:
“Nobody believes you,” Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, told Mr. Koskinen, questioning how an agency as powerful as the IRS could not have the capacity to store all emails. “You ask taxpayers to hang onto seven years of their personal taxpayer info in case they’re ever audited, and you can’t keep more than six months of employees’ emails?”
Mr. Koskinen claimed the hard drive was “recycled and destroyed”. And then he blamed the loss of emails on IRS underfunding:
He said they have turned over about 30,000 emails, including 25,000 from Ms. Lerner’s account and another 5,000 recovered from some of those other IRS employees. Still to come are more than 30,000 more emails, including nearly 20,000 that were lost on Ms. Lerner’s hard drive but were gleaned from other employees’ accounts.
In the process of the investigation, Mr. Koskinen said they found seven other employees’ hard drives had also crashed — though he said it’s unclear right now whether emails were lost in those crashes.
He said the spate of crashes is to be expected given “the agency’s aging information-technology infrastructure,” which he blamed on a lack of funds.