Justice Dept. lawyers admit Lerner emails were never missing; ‘jaw-dropping’ says Judicial Watch

In an explosive revelation to Judicial Watch late on Friday, Justice Department attorneys admitted that the federal government backs up everything in case of a catastrophe, and that included the missing Lois Lerner emails.

The watchdog group that was among those improperly scrutinized by the Internal Revenue Service was told the stumbling block had been the backup system was too onerous to search, The Hill reported.

“This is a jaw-dropping revelation,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. There are no “missing” Lois Lerner emails – nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be – but dishonestly withheld this information. You can bet we are going to ask the court for immediate assistance in cutting through this massive obstruction of justice.”

However, an Obama administration official cognizant of Friday’s conversation responded that Judicial Watch was mischaracterizing the information, and misinterpreting it. He said that lawyers from Justice were only referring to tapes routinely recycled before 2013, prior to the conservative groups-targeting investigation.

“There is no newly divulged backup system that was not previously known about,” he said, echoing exactly what Nixon administration officials contended until Alexander Butterfield popped the cork on that bottle. “Government lawyers were simply referring to the backup system at the IRS that Commissioner Koskinen had already disclosed,” according to The Hill.

Fitton called that “malarkey,” saying that Justice attorneys also admitted that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was investigating this back-up system.

Presiding Judge Emmet G. Sullivan suggested to Judicial Watch to submit its request for limited discovery into Lerner’s missing emails after September 10.

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