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Judge Demands Answers after IRS Contradicts Sworn Testimony on Lerner’s Scratched Hard Drive

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerby Patrick Howley     •     Daily Caller

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan Thursday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to come up with new answers after IRS employees contradicted sworn testimony about damage to Lois Lerner’s hard drive.

Sullivan ruled that “the IRS is hereby ORDERED to file a sworn Declaration, by an official with the authority to speak under oath for the Agency, by no later than August 22, 2014″ on four issues: the IRS’ attempted recovery of Lerner’s lost emails after her computer allegedly crashed, bar codes that could have been on the hard drive, IRS policies on hard drive destruction, and information about an outside vendor who worked on IRS hard drives.

Recent documents from nonprofit group Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS, which Sullivan is presiding over, showed that IRS technology officials contradicted sworn testimony about damage to Lerner’s hard drive. [Read more...]

Congress Isn’t Alone in Struggling to Obtain Obamacare Records

by Jillian Kay Melchior     •     National Review Online

accountability_corruption_mediaAs news breaks about the Department of Health and Human Services’ missing HealthCare.gov e-mails, it’s pertinent to note how difficult it has been to obtain records in general about Obamacare, as I’ve learned personally over the past many months.

In Nevada, National Review had to sue the state health exchange before we were able to obtain records about how many Obamacare navigators had criminal backgrounds, despite the fact that they were handling consumers’ private information. (As it turned out, at least eight did.) [Read more...]

Congressman Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost or Destroyed’ E-mails After House Launched Probes

by Joel Gehrke     •     National Review Online

marilyn_tavennery_emails_ObamacareThe revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.

“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner’s lost e-mails. [Read more...]

Obama Official Deleted Obamacare Emails Sought By Congress

by Patrick Howley     •     Daily Caller

marilyn_tavennery_emails_ObamacareThe administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deleted some of her emails and may not be able to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the flawed Obamacare rollout, CMS has warned Congress.

Marilyn Tavenner, who was appointed by President Obama to take over CMS within the Department of Health and human Services in 2013 — prior to the Obamacare rollout — deleted some of her emails and did not save hard copies as the Federal Records Act requires her to do, MSNBC reported Thursday. [Read more...]

The Environmental Corruption Agency

EPA Frankenstienby Michelle Malkin     •     Syndicated Columnist

The lofty motto of the Environmental Protection Agency is “protecting people and the environment.” In practice, however, EPA bureaucrats faithfully protect their own people and preserve the government’s cesspool of manipulation, cover-ups and cronyism.

Just last week, Mark Levin and his vigilant Landmark Legal Foundation went to court to ask federal district judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA “for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election.” The motion is part of a larger Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force EPA to release emails and related records from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others “who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election.” [Read more...]

IRS experts: Lois Lerner hard drive was just ‘scratched’ — not damaged beyond recovery

Lois Lerner IRSby Byron York

Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner’s hard drive — the one containing emails that could shed light on the IRS targeting scandal — was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed completely in 2011. But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner’s computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just “scratched,” and that most of the data on it was recoverable.

The IRS computer experts also told the committee that they had recommended seeking outside help in recovering the data from Lerner’s computer — something IRS management declined to do. [Read more...]

Courts Should End Lerner’s Illegal Instant Message Trick

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerby Phil Kerpen

It was so brazen. Right there, over email, Lois Lerner warned her colleagues “Congress has asked for emails… so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.” Then she asked whether the IRS’s instant messaging application was being archived, and was told that – contrary to law – archiving had been disabled. She responded: “Perfect.”

Specifically, IRS staffer Maria Hooke told Lerner “messages are not set to automatically save as the standard; however the functionality exists within the software.” [Read more...]

Whistleblowers at Veterans Benefits Administration report instances of retaliation

POW_veterans affairs_VA scandal_by Ellison Barber

Whistleblowers from regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration testified before the House Veteran Affairs Committee on Monday night that the agency has been tampering with documents, manipulating records, and retaliating against employees who report problems.

Kristen Ruell, a whistleblower from a VBA regional office in Philadelphia, Pa., told the committee she received an email from an employee in triage, the location where mail is processed, telling her that clerks were setting aside incoming forms when they were not easily identifiable. [Read more...]

More “smidgens” of IRS corruption

Hen House IRS DOJ Scandal Corruptionby Ed Rogers 

Anyone paying attention to the Internal Revenue Service scandal has been waiting for the next smidgen to drop. Well, two more hit pretty hard this week. At the president’s next encounter with the media, I will scream collusion if no one asks him for his exact definition of a “smidgen,” and if he thinks he has seen a smidgen of corruption yet. At this point, only the most gullible or culpable can continue to claim there is no compelling evidence in this case. Given the delays, lies and stonewalling, there is no viable argument against a special prosecutor.

In a stunning revelation this week, it was disclosed that former IRS official Lois Lerner told colleagues, “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and then proceeded to ask the IRS IT department, in an e-mail, “if [instant messaging] conversations were also searchable.” When she was told they were not, she e-mailed back, “Perfect.” This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation. [Read more...]

Obama Hasn’t Hit Rock Bottom Yet

obama_frownby Alex Castellanos

Ordinarily, being ranked as the worst modern president of the United States would be considered unfortunate. For you Mr. President, that’s the good news.

As painful as it is to note, your presidency has not yet hit bottom. You’ve got a long way to go in your descent.

Everywhere you walk, Mr. President, the world unravels. Americans are whispering that each political missile you fire seems to hit not its target but our own house.

You have undone the core idea you’ve advanced, that a larger public sector can save us. You are becoming the one-man Keystone Cops of an experiment in weakness and incompetent government. [Read more...]

IRS Knew Lerner Emails Were Missing For Months

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerby Patrick Howley

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knew for months that Lois Lerner’s emails had been destroyed, even before the current IRS commissioner testified that his agency would produce all of them.

The IRS knew as early as February 2014 that Lerner’s emails were missing, top lawmakers on the House Committee on Ways and Means confirmed Tuesday. The IRS had this knowledge nearly three months before IRS commissioner John Koskinen agreed at a hearing to turn over all of Lerner’s emails to the committee.

Additionally, the IRS failed to deliver emails from six other IRS employees at the heart of the IRS targeting scandal including former IRS official and frequent White House visitor Nikole Flax, according to the Ways and Means Committee. [Read more...]

Lost Lerner Emails Mirror Nixon’s 18 1/2 Minute Gap

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lerner

The IRS descends into criminal enterprise, with word of a 26-month gap of lost emails from the very period it was illegally targeting Tea Party groups. Computer crash? Try obstruction of justice.

Just as the claim that President Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, inadvertently hit the “erase” button instead of “pause” gave impetus to the drive to impeach Nixon, so too should the IRS announcement that it can’t find two years of Lois Lerner’s emails lead to a criminal investigation of this administration and creation of a select committee. [Read more...]

Lois Lerner on IRS hard drive crash: ‘Sometimes stuff just happens’

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerby Stephen Dinan

Lois G. Lerner, the employee at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, wanted to recover files from her computer hard drive after it crashed in 2011, but when told it was impossible, she took a philosophical view.

“Sometimes stuff just happens,” she said in a 2011 email to the IRS tech staff that tried to recover documents from the hard drive.

As it tries to respond to congressional inquiries about Ms. Lerner and the tea party scandal, the IRS has recently found itself on the defensive after admitting — more than a year into the investigations — that some of Ms. Lerner’s emails are irretrievably lost in the wake of the hard drive crash. [Read more...]

IRS Has Lost More Emails

149872_600by Eliana Johnson

It’s not just Lois Lerner’s e-mails. The Internal Revenue Service says it can’t produce e-mails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.

The IRS recently informed Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany that computer crashes resulted in additional lost e-mails, including from Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal. [Read more...]

Did The IRS Really Lose Lois Lerner’s Emails? Let a Special Prosecutor Find Them

IRS SCANDALObama needs to address this ‘phony scandal’ and the public trust with real transparency.

by Ron Fournier

A sloppy mistake, the government calls it, but you couldn’t blame a person for suspecting a cover-up — the loss of an untold number of emails to and from the central figure in the IRS tea party controversy. And, because the public’s trust is a fragile gift that the White House has frittered away in a series of second-term missteps, President Obama needs to act.

If the IRS can’t find the emails, maybe a special prosecutor can. [Read more...]