The Corner

Republican Congressman: Lerner Should Have Known She Was Obliged by Law to Preserve Her E-mails

Representative Pat Meehan (R., Penn.) asked for White House lawyer Jennifer O’Connor’s insight as an attorney on the litigation matters surrounding the missing IRS e-mails.

O’Connor, who served as counsel to the IRS commissioner in 2013, testified during the IRS investigation hearing on Tuesday morning after being issued a subpoena by committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.). 

The IRS told Congress in June that many e-mails of former IRS official Lois Lerner were lost, but Meehan along with many other members of the GOP are saying that the e-mails should have been preserved under the law, as they were central to the investigation surrounding the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. 

Meehan noted that in 2011, hundreds of pages of materials and e-mails that were handed over by the IRS in response to a Ways and Means Committee subpoena showed that there were discriminatory practices by the IRS directed toward both liberal and conservative organizations. 

Since the IRS knew of the allegations, Meehan said, they should also have known that under the law ”certain electronic records may need to be identified and preserved when litigation is anticipated.” 

“This is not ambiguous,” he said. He explained that Lerner was advised in January 2011 “very specifically” that her communications were potentially subject to the discovery process. 

He asked O’Connor, “Why weren’t those e-mails retained in 2011 when she had notice that she was potentially subject to discriminatory practices?” O’Connor responded that she did not know.

“It appears that that also happens to be just the same time frame . . . within weeks in June 2011 that seven people from IRS has their computers crash,” Meehan added. “Pardon me for being suspicious about the timing.”

 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More
Books

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More