In a recent hearing on the IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative and free-market groups, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) ripped into IRS commissioner John Koskinen after the agency admitted it lost 2 years’ worth of emails from Lois Lerner. The agency had previously agreed to turn over all emails related to the investigation.
Lerner’s computer conveniently crashed ten days after Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich) first requested information related to the scandal. Lerner reportedly asked the IT department to recover the data from her computer, but they were unable to do so.
The Daily Caller reported that the inability of the IRS to produce Lerner’s emails appears to violate federal laws, as they are required to keep records of all emails and print out hard copies as a backup. In fact, the U.S. Archivist admitted to Congress during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing that the IRS “did not follow the law” when it failed to report the lost Lerner emails. However, he did not say they broke the law.
If you have a moment, it is definitely worth your time to watch Rep. Ryan’s questioning of Commissioner Koskinen. As Rep. Ryan says:
You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hardworking taxpayers and with a phone call, email, or a letter; you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hang on to seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited, and you can’t keep six months worth of employees’ emails?
What do you think? Is it too much to ask the IRS to hold on to their records for as long as taxpayers are required to keep theirs?