IRS Commissioner John Koskinen continues to deny any wrongdoing
Dozens of congressmen tore into IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the IRS’s claims that emails of Lois Lerner and other employees are gone forever because of a “computer glitch”.
Paul Ryan appeared angry during the entire course of the meeting. Even going so far to Mr. Koskinen saying that nobody believes you including himself.
“I don’t believe you.”
– Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wisc., to IRS commissioner
Koskinen was poised and defiant during the entire time he was giving his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee. He refused to apologize to committee and to America; he said, “I don’t think an apology is owed,” “We haven’t lost an email since the start of this investigation.” The Republican Party continues to be furious after learning that many of the Lerner emails have supposedly disappeared. According to Committee Republicans, the IRS had known for months. Chairman Camp
Republicans had called for and demanded the emails between Ms. Lerner and other government officials including from the Obama administration be turned over in order to find out if there was a coordinated effort to target conservative groups prior to the 2012 elections.
Amidst the heated dispute between Ryan and Commissioner Koskinen, one key Democrat tried to intervene in support of Koskinen.
The Senate Finance Committee’s Senator Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden are leading an investigation into the targeting scandal aside from the House Ways and Means probe. The IRS official at the center of the investigation Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to avoid answering questions thrown at her from both committees. Lerner’s computer crashed sometime in June of 2011 according to emails provided to Congress.
According to Fox News, the IRS said last week it became aware of the missing emails in February of this year. The IRS did not know whether the other computer crashes have resulted in lost emails as well. It will also not say how often its computers fail and lose data.
This past May, the IRS promised the House Ways and Means committee that they would provide all applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status in 2010 and 2011 including internal IRS records and correspondence pertaining to them. The House Committee has yet to understand why the IRS did not attempt to recover the emails from backup servers back in 2011. According to Fox News, the FBI’s former Cyber director said that technicians should have been able to retrieve data from the servers around the times the computer crashed.
The IRS was able to find copies of 24,000 Lerner emails from between 2009 and 2011 because Lerner had sent copies to other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it was producing 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering 2009 to 2013. The agency said it searched for emails of 83 people and spent nearly $10 million to produce hundreds of thousands of documents.
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