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NSA Asked To Provide Metadata For Missing IRS Emails

Published on 14 June 2014

Discover the World Of Judaica

by Wiljam White


London, England

Lois Lerner
Lois Lerner

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) told the U.S. Congress Friday that it has lost tens of thousands of emails to and from Lois Lerner, a central figure in the agency's Tea Party controversy.

Despite the fact that the IRS Manual, chapter 10, section 3 requires “all IRS employees,” to make paper copies of all work-related emails and despite the fact that all IRS data such as these 'missing emails' would have been incrementally backup up daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually and periodically taken off site in tape format and stored at a secure facility such as Iron Mountain, Lerner's emails have simply gone missing.

The IRS said it cannot locate Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed during the summer of that year.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he was "greatly troubled" that the agency didn't notify Congress when they first became aware of the computer problem.

“Today’s admission by the IRS that they cannot produce Lois Lerner’s emails is an outrageous impediment to our investigation," Hatch said in a statement. "Even more egregious is the fact we are learning about this a full year after our initial request to provide the Committee with any and all documents relating to our investigation."

Republican leaders were irate.

"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," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. "There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the inspector general.

Fortunately, Congressman Steve Stockman Friday acted immediately and requested the National Security Agency (NSA) to turn over all its metadata associated with the email accounts under the control Lerner for the period between January 2009 and April 2011.

“I have asked NSA Director Rogers to send me all metadata his agency has collected on Lois Lerner’s email accounts for the period which the House sought records,” said Stockman. “The metadata will establish who Lerner contacted and when, which helps investigators determine the extent of illegal activity by the IRS.”

The IRS said the missing emails are mainly ones to and from people outside the IRS, "such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices."

The NSA recently took a very public battering for the agency's wholesale collection of metadata but as it turns out the program that actively collects everyone's email metadata may be a blessing in disguise and the IRS will no doubt be grateful in this case.


Wiljam White founded WireNews Limited in April 2001.


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Posted 2014-06-14 11:26:00