Judge makes ‘extraordinary’ ruling that IRS come up with better excuse

Judge makes ‘extraordinary’ ruling that IRS come up with better excuse

A federal district court judge ruled Thursday, in what has been described as an “extraordinary” order, that he wasn’t completely buying the Internal Revenue Service’s “the dog ate my homework” excuse on its missing Lois Lerner emails.

He’s giving the agency one week to come up with some answers or something better.

The conservative political watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit against the IRS regarding the “lost” emails of IRS employees, including those of former official Lois Lerner.

Judicial Watch’s president, Tom Fitton issued a statement Friday describing Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s order.

“In an extraordinary step, U. S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan has launched an independent inquiry into the issue of the missing emails associated with former IRS official Lois Lerner,” Fitton said. “Previously, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to produce sworn declarations about the IRS email issue by August 11. Today’s order confirms Judicial Watch’s read of this week’s IRS’ filings that treated as a joke Judge Sullivan’s order.”

The order provides:

MINUTE ORDER. In light of [26] the Declarations filed by the IRS, the IRS is hereby ORDERED to file a sworn Declaration, by an official with the authority to speak under oath for the Agency, by no later than August 22, 2014.

In this Declaration, the IRS must:

(1) provide information about its efforts, if any, to recover missing Lois Lerner emails from alternate sources (i.e., Blackberry, iPhone, iPad);

(2) provide additional information explaining the IRS’s policy of tracking inventory through use of bar code property tags, including whether component parts, such as hard drives, receive a bar code tag when serviced. If individual components do not receive a bar code tag, provide information on how the IRS tracks component parts, such as hard drives, when being serviced;

(3) provide information about the IRS’s policy to degauss hard drives, including whether the IRS records whose hard drive is degaussed, either by tracking the employee’s name or the particular machine with which the hard drive was associated; and

(4) provide information about the outside vendor who can verify the IRS’s destruction policies concerning hard drives.

IRS officials have repeatedly proffered conflicting testimony before the House committees on Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform. The testimony included “that they had the records, that the records were lost, that some of the records may still be retrievable, and that they never knew Lerner had a Blackberry — even though some of her extant communications showed clearly that she used it for e-mail,” according to HotAir.

We’ll see what next week brings.

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz is a recovering Michigan trial lawyer and former research vessel deck officer. He has written extensively for BizPac Review.


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