Today, the House Oversight Committee issued the IRS its second subpoena in two days. This one is for documents related to the tax agency’s disclosure Friday that it “lost” emails dated from January 2009 to January 2011 to and from former IRS manager Lois Lerner due to a computer crash.
The subpoena demands Lerner’s hard drive, electronic devices and documents related to the IRS’ disclosure to Congress.
In a written statement, Chairman of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that, “After a year of beating down efforts by the Obama Administration and its allies to obstruct an investigation into targeting, the IRS now says it lost perhaps the most critical evidence. When [IRS] Commissioner [John] Koskinen testified before the Committee in February, he made no mention of this. It was only earlier this month, during an interview with a Justice Department official, that the Oversight Committee learned about the existence of subpoenaed 2010 Lerner e-mails that the IRS had not produced. While this apparently forced the IRS to cough up an admission, we still do not have answers about how and why the IRS tried to deceive Congress about these missing e-mails. This subpoena seeks those answers.”
Lerner is a key figure in the Congressional investigation into the IRS’ alleged targeting of conservative groups. She refused to testify before Congress, invoking her Fifth Amendment rights, and was subsequently held in contempt.
The Obama administration has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the controversy. In an interview, President Obama said there was not a “smidgen” of corruption involved.
In light of the IRS’ testimony about how long it will take to respond to a related House Ways and Means Committee subpoena (“years not months” according to Commissioner Koskinen) and about the irretrievably lost Lois Lerner emails, it makes sense to ask when and whether the IRS will fully respond to the new Oversight Committee document subpoena.
Yesterday, the committee subpoenaed Koskinen to testify about the lost emails. That hearing will take place Monday.
The list of items included in today’s subpoena is below, as described by the Oversight Committee.
All back-up tapes, external drives, thumb drives, or other storage media the IRS used to capture, archive, back up, or otherwise record e-mails sent or received by Lois Lerner from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
All hard drives, external drives, thumb drives, and computers Lois G. Lerner used from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
All electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
All electronic files, including, but not limited to, .pst files, relating to the IRS e-mail account Lois G. Lerner used from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
All documents and communications that Lois G. Lerner printed and/or stored for Federal Records Act compliance purposes from January 1, 2009 to September 23, 2013.
All documents and communications referring or relating to the production to any congressional committee or Member of Congress of e-mail communications sent or received by Lois G. Lerner from January 1, 2009, to August 2, 2013.
All documents and communications referring or relating to the creation of “Enclosure 3” from the June 13, 2014 letter from Leonard Oursler to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, entitled “Description of IRS Email Collection and Production” (enclosed herein).
All documents and communications between or among IRS employees and employees of any Executive Branch entity referring or relating to the IRS’s production of documents to Congress from May 10, 2013, to the present.
All documents and communications referring or relating to the subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on August 2, 2013.
All documents and communications referring or relating to the subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen on February 14, 2014.