June 14, 2014

IRS covers for White House. ‘Loses’ Lois Lerner emails [Darleen Click]

Isn’t this precious?

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.

“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.

Let’s recall that the IRS Commissioner testified such records were archived:

The Husband (IT professional) says while it may be possible to “lose” only out-going, it is highly implausible given how email backups are routinely structured.

Somewhere, Rose Mary Woods is giggling.

h/t dicentra

Posted by Darleen @ 8:17am

Comments (33)

  1. Since they claim that they still have all internal e-mails, and that only the e-mails to and from outside agencies were (ahem) “lost”, it should relatively simple to go directly to those agencies and get the copies that they would have, of the mails sent to/by them, which would be kept on a completely different server from the one (ahem) “lost” at the IRS.


    Or are they claiming that a crashing server “just happened” to simultaneously crash the mail servers at the DOJ, White House and certain specified Democrat members of the House and Senate (and no others)?

  2. Oh, and if it does turn out to have been done “accidentally on purpose”, there really needs to be some jail time involved, both for whoever ordered it, and whoever carried it out.

    I mean, YEARS. Let Obama try and explain the pardon for THAT one…

  3. According to the IRS commissioner in March, they were actively working on this – it’s just all that redaction stuff may take years.

    And then in June – POOF! – magically deleted?

    I don’t work in IT, but at a software co. that hosts customers’ dbs. As part of our disaster recovery plan (which all customers require), we have offsite backups/archives so that there is always backup. Unless it is intentionally purged. I can’t believe that the IRS is less careful than a random private business.

  4. Scott Johnson at Powerline quotes an anonymous correspondent from within the DoJ, who says:

    I’m a DOJ lawyer, so you obviously cannot use my name or any identifying information. But the idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.

    Keep up the good work.

    And then adds:

    I’m serious about your keeping any identifying information out of the media. Things are very, very bad.

  5. The IRS will face no legal action for losing emails. A private business can get in serious trouble if they don’t keep emails around for prescribed time periods.

  6. Kimball: 18 1/2 Minutes vs. 2 Years: Which Is Worse?

    Easy: which one is covered by the right hue? (i.e., Red)

  7. I believe it is past time for this century’s version of Deep Throat to start spilling the beans.

  8. – So is it official now with this latest example of outright lies and coverups. The Fed under Bumblefuck has gone rogue?

  9. Shoot BBH, it was official when HIS MAJESTY was sworn into office.

  10. If the IRS isn’t competent enough to take care of internal electronic records (I believe it is mandated by law that such records be kept for several years) then perhaps the competency and even the existence of the IRS should be called into question.*

    Not that anyone in government wants the IRS abolished. After all, the IRS has proven to be a willing accomplice for those who wish to put pressure on American Citizens.

    *no snickering about the IRS having to follow the law.

  11. From the Bryan Preston piece.

    The way to bet on this is that the administration stalled on turning over those emails long enough to locate them all and all copies of them and destroy all of them. If that’s what happened, that’s destruction of evidence.

    However at this point in time, what difference can it make? Reset it again dude.

  12. There has to be serious people in either the media or the government who are unwilling to allow this corruption to go on. Surely there is at least one Democrat who understands the precedent here, one journalist with enough self respect not to stand by and watch this happen.

    Doesn’t there?

  13. There has to be serious people in either the media or the government who are unwilling to allow this corruption to go on.

    This is an extremely difficult phenomenon to sort out. To begin, for instance, we might ask, “Does the serious journalist acquire his daily bread from an attachment to the corruption?”, i.e., is the status quo his means of making a living? Would he risk his way of life, not to say his life as such, though that too can come into play in a place like Russia, we see.

    How of his status in the political order of things, if his interest is in some indefinite “honor” apart from some grubby pecuniary principle? Or what of power for the sake of power? And so on. [See Weber, “Politics as a Vocation” for the view from 1918, or do a CtrlF search on “journalist” there for the specifics]

    And then toss in the contemporary business.

  14. They’re all convinced that no matter which party wins the White House or majorities in Congress, “their people” will always be in charge either way, so it’s not as if anybody important is going to get thrown under the bus.

    “Surely not me,” says every single solitary one of them, even right up until the tires start rolling over their rib cages.

  15. “A phony scandal.” “Not a smidgen of corruption.”

  16. “A phony scandal.” “Not a smidgen of corruption.”

    Yeah, NOW… I mean, once they get rid of all the evidence, there really isn’t a smidgen of corruption. Right?

    No body, no murder. All the blood? Just someone who’s a sloppy shaver, that’s all. The neighbors reporting screams? Had the TV turned up too loud during the Hitchcock marathon, no biggie. The video of me digging a huge hole in the deep woods? Just trying to plant trees, doing my part to reduce CO2 pollution.

  17. – I keep trying to find a sign, any sign, that ot’s not over, but all that seems to happen is the trying with zero results. It just gets worse and worse by the day.

    – Libia, Benghazi, Berdahl, The IRS, F&F, The black panthers, ACORN, Fannie and Freddie, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afganistan, the Ukrain, The new flood of immigrants and the Feds breaking the law intentionally, NSA spying, Gitmo, Obamacare……Where the fuck does it ever end??????

  18. Surely there is at least one

    One person raising a ruckus is easy to silence. You have to get a mob.

    I was cheesing off various Twitterlocutors when I asserted that we’re pretty much against the mob, so whattaya gonna do about it, except run hashtags?

    We get that you can’t fight jihadis by using “the system” (aka Geneva Conventions) because they’re operating outside the system.

    Conservatives need to understand what we’re up against, and to understand that the system is too corrupt for us to wield.

    Me, I’d rather hunker down and tell DC to step off: they can’t gulag ALL of us.

  19. It is impossible that a single hard-drive crash destroyed emails from 2009 – 2011.

    Extremely bad archiving procedures/practices could have done it (so bad that nobody in IT would have stood for it, even the incompetent ones) or deliberate destruction could have done it, but not a single hard-drive failure.

    Most people know that, or know someone who knows that. It is therefore a big EFF YOU to all investigators & the American people.

    Catch us if you can…

  20. It is also impossible that a simple hard drive crash at the IRS would have deleted e-mails from the assorted servers at the agencies and organizations she either sent e-mails to, or received e-mails from (id est, Congress, DoJ, and the White House), and since the IRS admits they still have the internal emails, it should be easy to go to the respective agencies and request their local copies of the e-mails sent and received by Ms. Lerner.

    If there is ANYTHING a government is good at, it’s duplication of paperwork.

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  22. So what exactly has to happen to get people off of the couch? The happenings of the last six years under ANY other president would have sparked a violent revolution. Have they put Soma in the water system?

  23. So what exactly has to happen to get people off of the couch? … Have they put Soma in the water system?

    They’ve worn us down. When we holler about one thing, another thing comes along that we holler about, then another, and then another.

    The 2010 elections were supposed to shake the Establicans from their stupor. It did not. Mostly because it wasn’t a stupor but intractable corruption.

    All that effort, all that outrage, all that campaigning and stuff and where did it get us?

    Nowhere, is what.

  24. Here’s an awesome comment over at Insty’s (emphasis mine):

    Of course it doesn’t. Plausible deniability is so yesterday. The in thing since the Clinton administration has been implausible deniability: It aims for that sweet spot where your foes know that you’re guilty, but the proof isn’t *quite* clear enough to keep your own justice department from getting away with stonewalling.

    Implausible deniability: All the protection of plausible deniability, with the bonus of watching your enemies seethe in [impotent] fury. You don’t get that latter part if the excuse is believable.

  25. a national ” fart in” is the answer. peaceful, orderly, and add greenhouse gas to the debate.

  26. farting for freedom

  27. There’s a storm coming, our storm.

    Paul Atreides atop the lead sandworm addressing Freemen fighters.

    Speaking of storms — are we? — here is a photo of a tornado, presumably taken tonight in south central Nebraska. (But I am not feel’n it. A bit too perfect. Too framable. Too compositionally artistic. Twitter, that font of staccato wisdom.)

  28. The explanation given is that for some reason that is known only to the IRS, most e-mails were kept on a centralized computer system (these e-mails do survive) but some specialized list of other e-mails were only stored on the hard drive of the user, in this case Lois Lerner’s PC (these e-mails are missing).

    Why this bifurcated storage system ? Who knows ? It sure does sound mighty convenient, and probably a violation of the federal records act.

  29. Lerner was using a tactic that’s prevalent in Gov’t FOIA dodging. Since the requests often come from legal sources with little e-discovery experience, and since the wording of orders and subpoenas can get parsed beyond all meaning during meet and confer, the subject of the investigation will comply only with the letter of the request. Most often, the subject of the request will turn on “auto archive” in the email client. This will move email from the server to a local file on the subject’s workstation, which then can have the hard drive formatted (Sometimes physically destroyed) as a matter of policy when the subject leaves the organization. This has the effect of removing the email from the mail server’s database, and since backups aren’t held for all that long, the subject may have the ability to run out the clock. Most of the email, in this case at least, exists and is available and any action to dispose of it would be audited, but the request probably is very specific and does not mention searching the email archive.

    EOP used this tactic for years. It was easier when they had Lotus Notes mail, as the subject would create a local replica of the mailbox and have mail delivered directly to that, instead of the database on the server. In 2009, the EOP tried unsuccessfully to keep up with the Bush Admin’s policy of spoliation, with the additional cover strategy of blaming the archive vendor, but politically, this looked bad. It also didn’t help that the particular vendor blamed for the failure happened to be run by a big swinging dick in certain circles and not only got an apology, but a VERY big vendor agreement out of the shitstorm that erupted.

    All of the EOP’s emails eventually showed up, redacted, but whole. The IRS emails either exist in an archive, one of three vendors I can name, or they’ve been disposed. If they’ve been disposed, the audit log must have been disposed as well, also the backups, redundant copies, etc. These systems have a lot of moving parts, delete or remove something and you have to touch at least two other systems. If any of them have been tampered with, there’s a lot of people guilty as hell.

    Issa should subpoena the IT guy in charge of email and ask him, point blank, where the email archive is and why it wasn’t used to produce the requested email, and could he see the disposition audit report and who had access to the admin account with disposition rights, when it was logged on and from which workstation. Scare the shit out of that dude, put him on the news, he’ll get some answers.

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  31. I think I just lost my tax returns, several years worth. Not sure if it was 2014 back or forward. I’ll get back to you.