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Opinion: Morning Examiner

IRS, EPA computer crashes prompt question --- Has Obama 'burned the tapes?'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Paul Ryan,IRS,Richard Nixon,John Koskinen,Trey Gowdy,Watergate

For reasons known only to Richard Nixon, the disgraced former president refused to burn the Watergate tapes despite being urged to do so by then-Secretary of the Treasury John Connally.

Connally wasn't alone in that opinion, as renowned defense lawyer Edward Bennett Williams held the same view, according to former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.

Nobody will ever know for certain if Watergate would have ended differently had Nixon burned the tapes, but odds are good he would not have had to resign as president.

EPA computers crashed, too

Now that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has admitted that her agency, like the IRS, can't produce important emails requested by Congress due to a computer crash, the question must be asked: Has Obama "burned the tapes?"

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen that "nobody believes" the tax agency's claim that a computer crash mysteriously destroyed all of Lois Lerner's emails to and from people outside of IRS during the very period in which Tea Party groups were being targeted for harassment in the 2010 and 2012 campaigns.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., was equally skeptical of McCarthy's explanation of why her agency is apparently unable to locate emails concerning EPA's dealings with a controversial environmental consultant.

"Two different government agencies tried to convince Congress and the American people this week that emails disappear into thin air. We didn’t believe it when we heard it from the IRS and I’m not inclined to believe the EPA’s excuses," Meadows told McCarthy Wednesday.

You're surprised? Really?

But there is a context in which crashing hard drives at IRS and EPA make perfectly logical sense. For starters, the Obama administration has given new meaning to the term "massive resistance" in its responses to congressional oversight.

Then there's the "in-your-face" appointment of maxed-out Obama donor Barbara Bosserman to the Justice Department's "investigation" of the IRS scandal.

Finally, there's the Koskinen smirk. Watch Rep. Trey Gowdy's devastating cross-examination of the IRS commissioner Tuesday, especially at the 3:21 mark.

The long-time Democratic fund raiser appears serenely confident that neither Gowdy nor any other House Republican can lay a hand on him or the president.

Put it all together and it's difficult not to ask if the computer crashes are the "burned tapes" of 2014?

Post your answer to that question in the Comments section at the end of this post.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Thad Cochran's win doesn't mean GOP incumbents can rest easy.

Columnists/David Freddoso: Conservatives should keep their eyes on the prize.

Columnists/Michael Barone: Liberals champion freedom of speech, except in politics.

Columnists/Cal Thomas: Who are the real climate "deniers?"

OpEds/Sen. David Vitter: President Obama is giving America the John Beale style of government.

OpEds/Alan Sears: Government involvement in un-naming the Redskins is "patently" dangerous.

Beltway Confidential/T. Becket Adams: Meet the top six Democrats covering for President Obama and the IRS.

Beltway Confidential/T. Becket Adams: Is there a "smidgeon of corruption" in new documents showing Lois Lerner wanted to sic IRS auditors on Sen. Charles Grassley?

Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: Now EPA says it can't give Congress requested emails because of a hard drive crash.

Beltway Confidential/Blake Seitz: Anti-IRS group creates repeal spot using Democrats' apologies to Koskinen.

Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: Did Illinois care-givers ever back a union in the first place?

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Motion to dismiss filed in NSA spying class-action lawsuit.

In other news

USA Today: GM tells dealers to stop Chevrolet Cruze sales due to air bag issue.

The Los Angeles Times: Jeh Johnson says no free pass for children after border crossing.

New York Daily News: Search for missing Malaysian plane shifts south after new analysis of satellite data.

Righty Playbook

The American Spectator: Democrats are over-playing their hand.

The American Thinker: Whew! That was a close one in Mississippi.

The American Conservative: The high price of drugs in context.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: The University of Illinois' other on-staff terrorist.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: Confessions of a Goldman Sachs brat.

Grist: Happy first birthday, U.S. climate action plan.

Daily Intelligencer: Why John Boehner is suing President Obama.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Minor league baseball players make poverty wages.

Blog Right

Legal Insurrection: Did IRS' Lerner target Grassley?

Patterico's Pontifications: The McDaniel challenge may have merit.

Jammie Wearing Fools: Democrats whine about dark money as Obama meets with billionaire donor Steyer.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Walker backer charged with vote fraud, claims amnesia.

Talk Left: 10th Circuit rules states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

Slate: It's not our war.

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