"Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe that Lois Lerner's emails just suddenly went poof?" Those are the words of CNN’s John King stating his skepticism of recent claims by the IRS that all e-mails sent to and from disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner between January 2009 and April 2011 were deleted as the result of a “computer crash.”
After revelations that the IRS led targeted audits of conservative political groups, the IRS inspector general issued a report that examined the, “timeline . . . during the period for which all of Lerner’s e-mails were ‘lost,’ and these 16 instances refer to ‘e-mail’ as the source for information on that event.” Information relevant to the completeness of this investigation was forever lost after the deletion of Lerner’s e-mails. Furthermore, the White House waited a full year to inform Congress of the missing e-mails.
John Fund, National Review Columnist and featured speaker at this year’s National Election Law Seminar, calls these claims a sort of “IRS server ate the e-mails” excuse.
As Fund wrote for the National Review, “a growing number of computer professionals are stepping forward to say that none of this makes sense.” Citing two credible IT experts, there are at least three ways of retrieving such e-mails. And even in the case of “catastrophic mechanical failure,” the “FBI should be able to recover something.”
Fund asserts that Attorney General Eric Holder will not appoint an independent prosecutor because of his history, “blocking the appointment of any new special prosecutors for various Clinton scandals. Holder himself has mastered the art of withholding documents from Congress.” Fund recently co-authored a book about Holder with Hans von Spakovsky entitled Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
Fund doubts this series of events was any coincidence. “It is well known in legal and IT circles that failure to preserve e-mails can lead to a court ruling of ‘spoliation of evidence.’ That means a judge or jury is then instructed to treat deletions as if they were deliberate destruction of incriminating evidence.” Comparing Lerner’s missing e-mails with Nixon’s missing 18 ½ minutes of missing oval office audio, Fund notes an apparent effort to conceal evidence on behalf of Lerner.
Fund concludes by asking the House committees to require witnesses to testify under oath. “I strongly suspect that if anything is amiss, one or more employees will not want to commit perjury to protect political higher-ups.”