Golly Gee, IRS Failed To Follow Law On Archiving Email

Who would have thought it?

(NY Times) The Internal Revenue Service did not follow the law when it failed to report a hard drive crash that destroyed emails belonging to a senior official at the center of a scandal over the agency’s treatment of conservative-leaning political groups, the nation’s top archivist said Tuesday.

“In accordance with the Federal Records Act, when an agency becomes aware of an incident of unauthorized destruction, they must report the incident to us,” said David S. Ferriero, the chief archivist at the National Archives.

Mr. Ferriero made his remarks at a congressional hearing examining the 2011 disappearance of emails sent and received by Lois Lerner, the former I.R.S. official who is accused of politically motivated mistreatment of Tea Party-aligned groups seeking tax exemptions.

Hey, NY Times, they also lost the records for six other IRS employees implicated in the targeting scheme.

Mr. Ferriero would not say that anyone at the I.R.S. committed a crime, only that the agency “did not follow the law.” He said he learned of the missing emails on June 13, when the agency made the disclosure in a filing to Congress.

Oops, looks like the Times forgot something else

Ferriero: “That’s right.”

(Rep David) Walberg: “Did they break the law?”

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Ferrerio: “I’m not a lawyer.”

Walberg: “But you administer the Federal Records Act.”

Ferriero: “I do.”

Walberg: “If they didn’t follow it, can we safely assume they broke the law?”

Ferriero: “They did not follow the law.”

He wouldn’t say because he’s not a lawyer. Typical weaselly government speak. If they did not follow the law, they broke it. See what would happen if you used the “dog ate my tax returns” excuse to the IRS. See what would happen if an agency like the SEC came calling to your business and you lost emails that were involved in securities fraud.

Fortunately, this very important news is buried on page A15.

Then there’s this

White House attorney Jennifer O’Connor testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tuesday that she couldn’t recall who she worked with during her six months at the IRS.

Darrell Issa was not amused by Rep. Jason Chavez’ line of questioning on this

During Chaffetz’s exchange, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) interrupted: “Mr. Chairman, I think you might be unfair to the witness. The fact is that last night, the commissioner could not remember 60 days ago who told him about the importance of losing those documents.

“Last night, he could not narrow less than 60 days within 30 days when he was told. I think that in fact the ability to remember at the IRS is simply limited,” Issa concluded.

Not amused, snarky.

Finally, the IRS without a “smidgen of corruption” has settled a lawsuit

The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM’s chief political rival.

No, no corruption.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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