House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) regards the loss of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails only demonstrates that the agency needs to upgrade its technology, rather than a cause to suspect a cover-up related to the targeting of Tea Party groups.
“What it convinces me [of] is that they need a new technology system at the IRS,” Pelosi told reporters. “They need to upgrade their technology, get it right, so that there’s no suspicion about what agenda anyone may have on that.”
The IRS says that two years’ of Lerner’s emails were lost due to a hard drive crash. “Who could possibly believe that they have lost two critical years worth of emails for the central figure in this investigation?” House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) countered during his press briefing.
“If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about ‘losing’ e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said in response. ”Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention.”
An IRS official told National Review Online’s Eliana Johnson that two years’ worth of Lerner’s emails have been lost and can’t be retrieved because a hard drive crashed. “You’re not supposed to keep them around,” the source told Eliana when explaining why the damaged hard drive would be destroyed. “You destroy the data.”