Despite having a subpoena and preservation order in place for disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails, backup tapes that potentially stored her communications were wiped clean — just like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s server.
House Republicans are now considering impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, as well as any other officials connected to the destruction of emails and the targeting of conservative organizations.
Lawmakers learned of the evidence’s destruction Thursday from Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George and Deputy Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Office of Investigations Tim Camus at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.
“There was a preservation order in place, there’s a subpoena in place, they’ve never complied with it; we’ve had testimony from the IRS commissioner that we would get all this only to find out they’ve been degaussing these tapes and they destroyed evidence,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said at the hearing.
“That’s what they did and that’s why we continue to have this,” Chaffetz added. “We haven’t even gotten into the content of the emails. We’re just trying to get them so we can read them and figure out what’s going on.”
George testified at the hearing that 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 were “magnetically erased” in defiance of the order to preserve. He added that they “likely contained” Lerner’s 2010 and 2011 communications.
Three weeks after the tapes were destroyed, Koskinen told committee members he would produce the Lerner emails.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the House Oversight Committee, confirmed the impeachment rumors Friday to Fox News.
“Every time Mr. Koskinen comes and testifies, we subsequently learn that something he said wasn’t quite accurate,” Jordan told “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy.
“Three weeks before he [Koskinen] said that [he would provide the committee with the Lerner documents], they’d already destroyed 422 tapes,” Jordan emphasized. “Those kind of actions are, I think, something that we have to look into very seriously, and that’s what the committee’s doing.”
George also offered testimony about Lerner’s failed computer, stating that her hard drive “more than likely crashed due to an impact of some sort.”
The Washington Free Beacon zeroed in on the phrase, “impact of some sort,” and tweeted:
— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) June 26, 2015
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