Federal investigators are looking for possible criminal activity in connection with the missing emails of a central figure in the Internal Revenue service’s targeting scandal.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Thursday that it tracked down nearly 33,000 emails from ex-IRS official Lois Lerner.
The records date back to 2001, which is 10 years beyond what the IRS has said it could access for investigators....
The watchdog agency found the backed-up emails by consulting with IRS information-technology specialists, according to TIGTA Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Tim Camus.Stuff less serious than this brought down Nixon. But we had journalists back then, not Democratic Party activists with bylines.
“They were right where you would expect them to be,” he said at the rare late-night hearing, which lasted until about 10 p.m.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress last year that the backups were no help in recovering Lerner’s lost emails, in part because the IRS overwrites them every six months.
Camus said the IRS’s technology specialists told investigators that no one from the agency asked for the tapes, raising doubts about whether the agency did its due diligence in trying to locate Lerner’s emails, or possibly greater troubles.
“There is potential criminal activity,” Camus said.