Patterico's Pontifications

6/24/2014

More Video From Last Night’s Shellacking of IRS Commissioner Koskinen

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Last night I showed you tape of Trey Gowdy ripping IRS Commissioner Koskinen apart. It’s good enough that I’ll include it again:

Here’s another good one. Jason Chaffetz asks: if there was a backup tape, why didn’t you just access the backup tape?

Koskinen’s answer: the backup tape is very complicated to access and it was not the policy at the time to recover emails from the tape . . . that was there for the purposes of backup.

Huh?

It wasn’t the policy at the time to use the backup tape as a backup? [String of curses]

Chaffetz asks another good question: did the Inspector General know that Lerner’s computer had crashed and that email relevant to the investigation had been lost? Koskinen says he doesn’t think so. Did the Inspector General ask for her emails? Koskinen claims not to know.

Of course the Inspector General asked for Lois Lerner’s emails. If he didn’t, he would have to be the most incompetent Inspector General in history. So, it sounds like there was a cover-up with him, no? Clearly there are more questions to be asked there.

I did not watch all the testimony and don’t know if specific questions were asked about Sonasoft. Let me know if you saw any testimony about that.

UPDATE: Koskinen acts just like a guy who has donated big to Democrats over the years. Oddly enough, he has.

Thanks to askeptic.

UPDATE x2: EXCLUSIVE: Koskinen recovers from the beating he took last night:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 7.46.25 AM

Thanks to SteveG.

53 Responses to “More Video From Last Night’s Shellacking of IRS Commissioner Koskinen”

  1. What a putz this guy is.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. It wasn’t the policy at the time to use the backup tape as a backup?

    It was a back-up for the server. Not for something that had been deleted from the server, but would be on weeks or months old backups of the server.

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  3. The obstruction is brazen.

    It is time for impeachment to begin. Since Holder is obstructing prosecution of the IRS officials in question, impeach Holder, Lerner and the IRS Commissioner for starters.

    Lifetime bans on Federal employment.

    SPQR (c4e119)

  4. these IRS whores are the slimy fascist sluts that president food stamp and notorious pervert john roberts put in charge of America’s dubious new health care scheme

    not a good feeling huh

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. Go down the chain of command until you find someone who is honest. And hold all others in contempt.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  6. Well, the backup tapes are only kept for six months and then reused, so we had to stall until the normal administrative process would destroy the information you asked for.

    Peter B (b74e27)

  7. Somebody knows what happened. When that person is found and talks, somebody will go to jail, It may take a new Congress or even a new President. What we are seeing now is a Reichstag fire.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  8. These 6 minute clips from these hearings should all become political ads this election season.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  9. Next thing you know, Koskinen will say that there are no backup tapes because nobody uses tape anymore and therefore they can’t recover the emails in question. That begs the question of how did the IRS actually backup the information, in which case Koskinen will testify that he doesn’t know for sure how they did it but he’ll look into it.
    All seriousness aside, the stone wall that Obama has erected will have to crumble at some point. Let’s just hope it is sooner rather than later.

    Tom (e52bee)

  10. Not a smidgen of corruption.

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  11. the stone wall that Obama has erected will have to crumble at some point. Let’s just hope it is sooner rather than later.

    Tired of hoping. Break out the sledge hammer.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  12. He’s the Koskinen of Duke University’s Koskinen Stadium. He knows what spoliation of evidence is.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Well, it’s not like his testimony was a lie-lie.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  14. 2. In some of the comments here

    http://therightscoop.com/turns-out-some-of-lois-lerners-emails-were-backed-up-but-it-was-too-expensive-to-extract-them-or-something/

    It is noted that it is not all that difficult to retreive an individual’s mailbox from a tape back-up from a “lump sum” back-up. You just simply restore the entire database to some alternate server
    and extract the emails you want.

    Of course the real answer was:

    The contents of Lois Lerner’s drive were not considered to be an archival record. The archival record was on the server. If it filled up, she could delete any e-mail she wanted to, and, if she felt like it, could copy it over to her hard drive whatever she wanted to delete.

    There is no actual reason to suppose that she did so.

    Her hard drive was never supposed to be the depositary for any federal record. Any record it contained would be only for her personal convenience. Anything that qualified as a federal record, she was supposed to print out.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  15. I wonder what responsibility the IRS attorneys have in this? Normally, in most court settings, even if no suit has been filed, a person or entity has the responsibility for preserving evidence–most attorneys advising a client like this would tell them not to destroy or otherwise dispose of evidence while an investigation is underway, or suit could be filed, regardless of what the SOP is.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  16. As I said, there is no actual reason to suppose she archived copies of old e-mail on her hard drive. That was just the IRS being cute.

    She could have archived her old e-mail there, but she most likely didn’t.

    She destroyed her hard drive for other reasons, because of other things that were on it, possibly temporary files and deleted files. The kind of stuff that would be found if the FBI searched her hard drive. I wonder if she did a low level format. We still don’t have any information as to what exactly was wrong with her drive.

    When it talked about retrieving e-mail from her hard drive, the IRS was just going “above and beyond the call of duty”. This enabled them to delay informing the committees about the missing e-mails, because they could say they didn’t know until they made inquiries that her old e-amail would not be found, and they ddin’t want to tell the committees anything till they had all the facts.

    They want the committee to be satisfied with internal IRS e-mail when the possible problem is from outside communications to Lois Lerner.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  17. Something wrong with her hard drive? Probably nothing a sledge hammer couldn’t fix.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  18. Do you realize that IRS Commissioner John Koskin said:

    1) He didn’t know there was a problem with Lois Lerner’s computer until February,, 2014.

    2) But he didn’t know some e-mails were irretrievably lost until April.

    3) However, the committee was informed last fall that Lois Lerner had lost some data.

    (although they did not specifically say it was e-mail, or that the result of her computer problem might be that the last hope of retrieving some e-mails was lost, because she might have stored on her computer copies of e-mail the IRS no otherwise no longer had because she had the power to delete old e-mail from the server, and the back-up tapes were recycled after siz months.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  19. It’s complicated! I thought the reason this guy was appointed was due to his COMPETENCE? He’s spinning so hard the g-forces are draining the blood from the critical parts of his brain.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  20. 18. rochf (f3fbb0) — 6/24/2014 @ 11:53 am

    Something wrong with her hard drive? Probably nothing a sledge hammer couldn’t fix.

    Lillie V. Wilburn, Field Director, Headquarters CSSC, Customer Service Support, Information Technology Division e-mail to Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Organizations at the Intrernal Revenue Service, Friday, August 5, 2011 7:38 PM

    Hello, Ms Lerner, I was just about to send you an update.

    Unfortunately the news is not good. The sectors on the hard drive were bad which made your data unrecover able.

    I am very sorry. Everyone involved tried their best.

    Sent using Blaackberry

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. The sectors on the hard drive were bad which made your data unrecover able

    ???

    What sectors? Did the drive undergo a low level format?? What does this mean?

    This was after the drive had been sent to the CI forensic laboratory.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  22. rochf (f3fbb0) — 6/24/2014 @ 11:50 am

    most attorneys advising a client like this would tell them not to destroy or otherwise dispose of evidence while an investigation is underway, or suit could be filed, regardless of what the SOP is

    The investigation only actually began, according to the IRS, in May 2013, and Koskinen says they haven’t lost a thing since then.

    In fact that’s when they began not recycling the back up tapes.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  23. The investigation only actually began, according to the IRS, in May 2013

    So Dave Camp’s letter from 2011 did not constitute an investigation?!

    Milhouse (b95258)

  24. “The investigation only actually began, according to the IRS, in May 2013″

    Milhouse (b95258) — 6/24/2014 @ 12:18 pm

    So Dave Camp’s letter from 2011 did not constitute an investigation?!

    That’s right. Only after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration finished his report, entitled: Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review

    Before that, apparently, the Congressional committees had deferred to the Inspector General.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  25. In other news related to IRS wrongdoing: (complete with the perp taking the 5th, the IRS withholding documents, and Eric Holder’s DOJ refusing to prosecute)

    The following excerpt is from Ken McIntyre at The Daily Signal, June 24, 2014.

    Two years after activists for same-sex marriage obtained the confidential tax return and donor list of a national group opposed to redefining marriage, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted wrongdoing and agreed to settle the resulting lawsuit.

    The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM’s chief political rival…

    ropelight (5e61bd)

  26. Lois Lerner was informed on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM that she

    had been identified as a person who may have information potenbtially relevant to a TIGTA audit of criteria used to identify tax-exempt apoplications for review in which litigation is reasonably anticipated.

    Only then was she told to preserve paper records and ESI (electronically stored information) potentially relevant to the above-described matter.

    The Subject of the e-mail was: IMPORTANT LITIGATION HOLD NOTICE

    (Attachment A of the Friday, June 13, 2014 letter by the IRS to the Senate Committee on Finance.)

    The litigation hold for other people was put into place only in late May, and early June, 2013.

    The IRS completed its electronic data collection for Losi Lerner’s custodial email on May 22, 2013, and the next day, May 23, 2013, the IRS put Lois Lerner on administrative leave on at which point she lost access to her computer and her blackberry.

    She “separated from teh Service” on September 23, 2013.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. May 10, 2013 Washington Times:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/may/10/congress-vows-investigate-irs-conservative-audits/

    U.S. News and World Report Washington Whispers, May 10, 2013:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/05/10/tea-party-groups-want-congress-to-investigate-irs-for-targeting-them

    National Journal May 14, 2013: (Dems join in and say law should be clarified)

    http://news.yahoo.com/congress-vows-investigate-irs-activity-071115548.html

    Fox News May 14, 2013: (Eric Holder launches probe of IRS targeting of Tea Party groups)

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/14/irs-timeline-shows-dc-officials-in-loop-on-tea-party-targeting/

    The probe comes as newly obtained documents show the current IRS chief knew about the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups as early as May 2012 and other officials in Washington were clued in more than a year before that.

    The additional details were provided in a timeline from the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, based on briefings by the inspector general’s office investigating the case. Together, they challenged the agency’s initial claims that the practice of flagging conservative groups for additional scrutiny was contained to low-level staffers at a Cincinnati office.

    The timeline shows that Steven Miller, the acting IRS chief who at the time was a deputy commissioner, was briefed on the practice on May 3, 2012. Despite this briefing, Miller wrote letters to members of Congress at least twice to explain the process of reviewing applications for tax-exempt status without disclosing that Tea Party groups had been targeted. On July 25, 2012, Miller testified before the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, but again did not mention the additional scrutiny — despite being asked about it.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  28. Sammy, they had the backup tapes that would have recovered the emails. Her computer crashed on June 13, 2011. On August 5, 2011, she was told her emails were unrecoverable. Technically, they had 4 months to recover those emails, unless they used George Castanza logic and may have caught the IRS on cusp of a new wash cycle. Doesn’t matter, the Sonasoft contract was in place until the end of August. Besides, who would cancel a contract with a company that backs up your email without asking for a copy of all the information the company backed up for the entire length of the contract?

    If you’ve ever been involved in a government contract, there are periodical audits to make sure you’re actually doing the job you were contracted to do.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  29. So Dave Camp’s letter from 2011 did not constitute an investigation?!

    That’s right. Only after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration finished his report, entitled: Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review

    Before that, apparently, the Congressional committees had deferred to the Inspector General.

    So there was an investigation going on. What difference does it make which one? They knew something was being investigated, and they destroyed evidence the investigators were sure to ask for. In 2011.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  30. #30–I think you have summed it up–frankly, I’ve seen federal courts refer attorneys for discipline for less than what’s here.

    Gosh, if you’re going to obstruct justice, you should at least be competent at it–the dog ate the emails just doesn’t cut it.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  31. Milhouse (b95258) — 6/24/2014 @ 12:18 pm

    It’s not like it was an investigation-investigation.
    I suppose that Congress’ committees need to send letters such as these within a folder marked:

    NOTICE OF INVESTIGATION!

    By courier, and get a signature.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  32. 29. Hadoop (f7d5ba) — 6/24/2014 @ 1:05 pm

    Sammy, they had the backup tapes that would have recovered the emails. Her computer crashed on June 13, 2011. On August 5, 2011, she was told her emails were unrecoverable. Technically, they had 4 months to recover those emails, unless they used George Castanza logic and may have caught the IRS on cusp of a new wash cycle.

    We are being misled about a couple of things. First, there’s no real reason to think any of her e-mails were on her hard drive. The IRS is just talking about the idea that she could have put old e-mail on her drive.

    Lois Lerner never complained about e-mails to the IT people, but only unspecified personal files that wouldn’t be any place else.

    Lois Lerner July 19, 2011:

    there were some documents in the files that were irreplaceable

    Although it is true that she could put on her hard drive that, so to speak, “scrolled off” the server, she could also just simply delete it and most probably did.

    Actually, nothing “scrolled off” the server, which was the official e-mail record. Rather, it was up to her to pick mail to delete. If she did not, she’d lose the ability to send and receove e-mail when it reached 150 megabytes. In July 2011 it had just been raised to 500 megabytes. (she apparently had last mass deleted a lot of mail in April)

    If she did delete any e-mail, she was supposed to print out whatever e-mail that qualified as a government record that she deleted from the server. She could also keep a copy of whatever she wanted, or a complete file of old mail, but that was irrelevant, even if it included some that would qualify as “records”. Any copies of anything she tranferred to her hard drive was not considered any kind of official record, but only a personal one.

    If she destroyed her hard disk, she was trying to destroy other things, including possibly deleted files.

    The only reason the IRS now looked to her hard drive, was that they finally decided to comply for the subpoena for “ALL” her e-mail, and most of her e-mail from before April, 2011 was long gone, and well, that way they could further delay a response.

    Doesn’t matter, the Sonasoft contract was in place until the end of August. Besides, who would cancel a contract with a company that backs up your email without asking for a copy of all the information the company backed up for the entire length of the contract?

    What happened around that time is that they raised the amount of e-mail that could be kept in the inbox to 500 megabytes. They may have asked for it. Some people are saying Sona soft wouldn’t have used tapes.

    There is a daily tape backup the IRS says, but tapes were recycled to at the 6 month mark to save money until May 2013 (and apparently nobody had the “brilliant” idea of taking any of the tapes out of the rotation. Now this was maybe being deliberately dumb.)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  33. No Congressional subpoena until 2013 maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  34. You think the IRS would buy the same lame argument from a taxpayer that they’re giving Congress and the public?

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  35. David Ferriero says federal law requires that government agencies must notify the National Archives and Records Administration when it becomes aware that federal records are lost.

    I think the position of the IRS is that nothing on a personal hard drive is afesderal record – the official record of e-mail, at any rate, is on the server.

    You know what’s really bad? the excuse the IRS has for not telling anyone earlier that some subpeonaed e-mails were not available.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  36. Do Do you realise that Kostkinen is saying that he didn’t know (is he saying didn’t know for certain?) that some Lois Lerner emails were lost, but they told the committee last fall???

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  37. Koskinen didn’t know till April, but also told the comiittee last year.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  38. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/us/testy-exchange-erupts-as-irs-chief-is-questioned-on-messages.html?_r=0

    Mr. Koskinen testified that he had hidden nothing from Congress and that he did not learn until April that Ms. Lerner’s emails were missing. “All the emails we have will be provided,” he said in a testy exchange. “I did not say I would provide you emails that disappeared. If you have a magical way for me to do that, I’d be happy to know about it.”

    Further, he said, the committee had been put on notice last fall that some of Ms. Lerner’s emails had disappeared. “So it should be clear that no one has been keeping this information from the Congress,” he said.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  39. Letter from Gary Hart to the New York Times defending John Koskinen ( a sort of how dare you defense)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/opinion/integrity-of-the-irs-chief.html

    Note: John Koskinen contributed to Gary Hart’s presidential campaign (and also eveyr ultimate Democratic nominee since 1980 or 1984)

    I graduated 50 years ago with Mr. Koskinen as a member of the Yale Law School class of 1964, which happened also to include Robert Rubin, a former Treasury secretary,

    also of Goldman and Sachs, whom U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani was pursuing in the 1980s, but who saved by a very good lawyer: Robert B. Fiske Jr. later Janet Reno’s personally appointed “special prosecutor” whose appointment they hoped would be ratified by 3 federal judges later

    and Gov. Jerry Brown of California.

    Yeah, so what Jerry Brown went to the same school with him and is about the same age?

    More from Gary Hart:

    I have never met a more honorable, decent and honest American than John Koskinen. For partisan members of an extremely partisan House of Representatives to question his honor or integrity is loathsome and disreputable.

    John Koskinen is above reproach…

    Never mind what you hear him say.

    Letter dated June 21, 2014 (Saturday, after his earlier testimony)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  40. What happened around that time is that they raised the amount of e-mail that could be kept in the inbox to 500 megabytes. They may have asked for it. Some people are saying Sona soft wouldn’t have used tapes.

    Are you kidding? Of course, Sonasoft doesn’t use tapes. I’m not sure I even know what point is it that you’re trying to make. In my last comment, I wrote that in 2011, the IRS had four months to recover her emails based on the six month recycling of backup tapes THEY(the IRS) used. They(the IRS) could’ve asked Sonasoft to restore Lois Lerner’s email, and the six other IRS employees that lost their emails as well. As a matter of fact, if you were the IT Director/Administrator, and there were a plethora of hard drive crashes, wouldn’t you go to the company backing up your email data, and have them restored. Regardless, after a contract is up, you’d require the company to give you all the emails they collected, wouldn’t you? If not, how would you ever know if they destroyed all their copies?

    Believe what you want. Like I said, the end of a government contract requires an automatic audit. That’s the way it was for my company. And after the audit, we were not paid in full. They found minor discrepancies, i.e., some data entry clerk keyed in the wrong price, so we weren’t reimbursed. They came in, asked for very specific purchase orders, and they had to be originals. One purchase order was an updated copy to correct an error, but the original was not attached and COPY OF ORIGINAL was not stamped on it. There may be slackers at the IRS, but NOT their auditors!

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  41. Gary Hart vouching for someone’s credibility? That’s not even funny, it’s pathetic. The Gary Hart punchline:

    “I told you to lick my erection, not wreck my election!”—Monkey Business boat luster.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  42. Gary Hart, who was to the left of Mondale in 1984, unpossible as that might be, is exactly the type of idiot we were spared until 2008. I’m still struck how effective Judicial Watch has been where the
    Congress has struck out, by comparison,

    narciso (3fec35)

  43. The Congress doesn’t have ‘standing’.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  44. As layers you guys may not appreciate Rep. Massie’s questioning. As an engineer who has dealt with reliability theory myself this is well worth checking out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvHgYn-NiaA#t=309 is the start of Massie’s questioning. He gets to the point and mentioned that the probability of two particular hard drives crashing within a 10 day period is very small, one in a million. We had critical 7 drives vanish their information. The probability of this is needle in a galaxy small. It’s VERY worth reviewing and having somebody track down the times of failures for the drives and applying a little statistics to the problem.

    {^_^}

    JDow (c4e4c5)

  45. Er make that lawyers – hard to type with ac cat in your lap overlapping the keyboard.

    {o.o}

    JDow (c4e4c5)

  46. He gets to the point and mentioned that the probability of two particular hard drives crashing within a 10 day period is very small, one in a million. We had critical 7 drives vanish their information. The probability of this is needle in a galaxy small. It’s VERY worth reviewing and having somebody track down the times of failures for the drives and applying a little statistics to the problem.

    It doesn’t even matter about the hard drive failures. One hard drive failure is believable. Two hard drive failures might be a coincidence. A third hard drive failure would trigger an alert that ANY IT administrator would immediately make sure that the backed up tapes were not “recycled”. They had the backups at that time to recover the emails, and the Sonasoft contract was still in effect. They didn’t want to recover the data.

    Attempting to harangue some nontechnical IRS employee about the MTBF(mean time between failure) rates of a hard drive is kind of fruitless. Koskinen just sidestepped any questioning by saying, “hey, I wasn’t there. I gave you all the emails that were available”. They had the means and deliberately chose not to recover the information.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  47. Hadoop (f7d5ba) — 6/25/2014 @ 2:52 am

    A third hard drive failure would trigger an alert that ANY IT administrator would immediately make sure that the backed up tapes were not “recycled”.

    The back-up tapes were backup tapes of the central server, which did not crash.

    The hard drive(s) that crashed were personal hard drives. I don’t think anybody has told us how they might or might not have been backed up, and how Lois Lerner got back to work, and if she would have lost anything.

    Furthermore, it is only a possibility that, on May 22, 2013, when they preserved its contents, Lois Lerner’s hard drive would have contained a personal archive of pre-April, 2011 e-mails had it not crashed.

    They didn’t even tell us if it contained any archive of e-mails made after June 13, 2011, the day the crash was reported. Lois Lerner did not have to do that, and any archive of e-mail would have been a personal, duplicate archive, or an archive of items that she had determined did not need
    to be preserved. Any e-mail that needed to be preserved (in Lois Lerner’s judgement) either had to remain on the central server, or had to be printed out.

    Lois Lerner might have a reason to destroy her hard drive, but I don’t know if there is the slightest reason to think that any kind of an archive of circa 2010 mail could have been the reason, because she probably never put it there.

    They had the backups at that time to recover the emails, and the Sonasoft contract was still in effect. They didn’t want to recover the data.

    The question is, did the IRS deliberately degrade its recordkeeping after June, 2011?

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  48. Reminds me of the Abe Lincoln summation to the jury on a witness’ testimony: “I didn’t exactly catch him in a lie, but I did catch him jumping from one lie to another.”

    Bud Norton (29550d)

  49. Sammy, I don’t care. Either way, Sonasoft specializes in email backup. If they(theIRS) had wanted to recover her emails they had until August 31, 2011, when the contract with Sonasoft expired. That was my point. Hard drive failure notwithstanding, they had the data—period.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  50. Best of the Web June 25:

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/best-of-the-web-today-no-confidence-1403725170?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj

    A new Fox News survey asks the following question: “The Internal Revenue Service says that two years of emails from IRS employees about targeting conservative and tea party groups were accidentally destroyed because of a computer crash and cannot be recovered. Do you believe the IRS that the emails were destroyed accidentally or do you think they were destroyed deliberately?”

    Before we reveal the results, pause and take a guess: What percentage of respondents do you think believe the IRS?

    We’d have said between 30% and 40%. The administration, backed by its allies in the Democratic Party and the media, has cast the scandal in partisan terms, as a Republican witch hunt. Obama himself told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly in February that while “there were some bone-headed decisions,” there was no “mass corruption. Not even a smidgen of corruption.”

    Given the partisan polarization of America’s political culture–a long-term trend that predates Obama’s presidency but certainly has not been arrested by it–we’d have expected at least Obama’s hard-core political base to express support for the IRS position. The president’s approval rating hasn’t dropped far below 40% in any poll we’re aware of; it’s 41% in the Fox survey.

    The proportion of respondents who believe the IRS’s claim to have destroyed the emails accidentally: 12%. That’s congressional-approval-rating territory. Seventy-six percent disbelieve the IRS story, and the remaining 12% say they’re “unsure.” Asked whether Congress should continue to investigate, the ayes had it, 74% to 21%.

    I think the question should be interpreted as – is it more likely they were destroyed deliberately or accidentally?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  51. 48- ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action’
    - Ian Fleming

    askeptic (8ecc78)


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