A U.S. government lawyer has conceded that tens of thousands of long-missing emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, messages the Obama administration had claimed were lost in a 2011 computer crash, were safely backed up along with the computer records of every other federal employee.
Despite IRS officials’ sworn testimony and affidavits to the contrary, a DOJ attorney has learned there is a backup system where Lois Lerner’s emails are stored and in tact.
The documents are key to a congressional investigation into a political targeting scheme Lerner allegedly masterminded, which involved singling out conservative nonprofits for especially intrusive scrutiny – based on words in their names like ‘tea party’ or ‘patriots’ – when they applied for tax-exempt charitable status.
Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton explained on Fox News this afternoon:
A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating. And they say it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s emails from that backup system.
So everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives…it’s all been a pack of malarkey. They could get these records, but they don’t want to.
And there’s no such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing emails. It’s all been a big lie. They’ve been lying to the courts, to the American people, to Congress. It’s outrageous.
Mr. Fitton goes on to say, “The Obama administration needs to get on the ball and start retrieving them [the emails], as opposed to stonewalling and continuing to obstruct justice.”
Judicial Watch will be asking the Court for relief on this issue, likely in the form of a court order to produce the emails from the backup system.