Lerner’s emails likely gone forever; ‘hard drive has been thrown away,’ says Hatch

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Hopes of recovering Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails from the IRS computer hard drive have all but vanished, multiple sources told Politico.

If the key figure in the IRS scandal responds to a subpoena by pleading the fifth, and the agency claims it cannot produce her emails, the next step is to subpoena her computer hard drive.

That’s the apparent logic of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who has subpoenaed former IRS employee Lois Lerner‘s hard drive and all other electronic devices.

But Issa may be set for disappointment once again, according to Politico, who reported on Wednesday that “Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightening rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found.”

“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told Politico.

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Lerner is at the center of the IRS intentionally targeting tea party and other conservative groups for additional scrutiny. The agency informed Congress Friday that it had lost Lerner’s emails for a critical two year period being investigated.

“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,” Issa said in a statement. “When Commissioner 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.”

Just the latest road block to learning whether there is more than a smidgen of corruption at the agency, which informed Congress this week the emails of six other IRS employees involved in the scandal are also lost.

So much for transparency.

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