Federal Archivist Says IRS Broke The Law

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In case you missed it, the official in charge of federal archives said that the IRS broke the law with regard to Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails. He’ll probably lose his job soon.

The top U.S. official in charge of archiving federal records testified Tuesday that the IRS ran afoul of the law by neglecting to tell his office that a trove of emails from the woman at the center of the targeting scandal disappeared after an apparent hard drive crash.

Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero, speaking before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made clear that federal agencies are supposed to report whenever their records are destroyed or even accidentally deleted. But he said that after emails from embattled IRS official Lois Lerner vanished after a computer failure in 2011, nobody told the National Archives.

“They did not follow the law,” Ferriero said.  (Read More)

A White House lawyer also testified, and claimed she only found out about the lost emails about a week ago. Is it any wonder Darryl Issa called her a hostile witness?

Update: The Wall Street Journal explained how the IRS has been violating the law. A pro-Israel group was singled out by the IRS in 2009, in 2010 the group sued, so the IRS was then legally required to preserve all evidence, which obviously wasn’t done.

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and legal precedent, once the suit was filed the IRS was required to preserve all evidence relevant to the viewpoint-discrimination charge. That means that no matter what dog ate Lois Lerner’s hard drive or what the IRS habit was of recycling the tapes used to back up its email records of taxpayer information, it had a legal duty not to destroy the evidence in ongoing litigation.

In private white-collar cases, companies facing a lawsuit routinely operate under what is known as a “litigation hold,” instructing employees to affirmatively retain all documents related to the potential litigation. A failure to do that and any resulting document loss amounts to what is called “willful spoliation,” or deliberate destruction of evidence if any of the destroyed documents were potentially relevant to the litigation.

At the IRS, that requirement applied to all correspondence regarding Z Street, as well as to information related to the vetting of conservative groups whose applications for tax-exempt status were delayed during an election season. Instead, and incredibly, the IRS cancelled its contract with email-archiving firm Sonasoft shortly after Ms. Lerner’s computer “crash” in June 2011. (Read More)

In short, this is the most corrupt administration of all time. Every agency has been taken over by political hacks who believe the law is for other people to follow. It’s scary.