An IRS official told congressional investigators on Monday that the agency may still have e-mails sent by disgraced official Lois Lerner that the agency previously said were lost in a hard-drive crash.
Thomas Kane, the IRS attorney who oversees the agency’s document production to Congress, told the House Oversight Committee that he doesn’t know whether the back-up tapes that contained Lerner’s e-mails, which were thought to have been destroyed on a six-month schedule, were actually destroyed.
His testimony conflicts with the June 13 memo the IRS sent to the Senate Finance Committee, which stated that “back-up tapes from 2011 no longer exist because they have been recycled.” Kane said that he reviewed the June 13 memo but is nonetheless uncertain and that “it’s an issue that’s being looked at.”
Kane came before investigators after Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) issued a subpoena for his testimony. Issa said Monday he is “struck by the fact that the IRS attempted to keep a key witness like Mr. Kane away from investigators”
“Finding out that IRS Commissioner Koskinen jumped the gun in reporting to Congress that the IRS ‘confirmed’ all back-up tapes had been destroyed makes me even more suspicious of why he waited months to inform Congress about lost Lois Lerner e-mails,” Issa said. “Commissioner Koskinen has repeatedly blamed the reporting delay on an effort to be sure what he said was correct, we now know that wasn’t the case.”