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POLITICS: White House

IRS tells Congress agency lost two years of Lois Lerner emails

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,White House,Philip Klein,IRS,Dave Camp,House Ways and Means Committee,Lois Lerner

More than two years of emails sent by Lois Lerner, the former official at the center of a scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups, have been lost, the IRS informed the House Ways and Means Committee.

On Friday, the committee released a statement saying that the IRS informed members that they lost Lerner's emails from January 2009 through April 2011.

"Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame," the statement read. "The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices."

In response, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich, said:

“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.

“Just a short time ago, Commissioner [John] Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents. It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”

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