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June 19, 2014

IRS: Hey Sorry You Can't Have Lois Lerner's Emails; Her Hard Drive Crashed
GOP: Okay Please Send Us the Hard Drive
IRS: Boy, You're Not Going to Believe This, But We Already Destroyed That Hard Drive
GOP: ...
IRS: This Just Isn't Your Day

So here's the timeline:

Two years ago Congress demanded the IRS turn over Lois Lerner's emails.

The IRS did not do so for two years. Then, Friday, after close of business, they announced they couldn't supply her emails, because the hard drive storing them had "crashed" -- but they didn't inform Congress of this until two years after the fact.

Issa now demands the hard drive -- to see if emails can be recovered, and, I imagine, even more importantly, to determine if the hard drive had been deliberately sabotaged or erased.

And now what does a source in the IRS' IT department?

Oh yeah, it's routine practice to destroy non-functioning hard drives. Sorry.

As a matter of practice, says the source, the IRS wipes damaged hard drives that are still operative. "If we can run them, we have to wipe them," he says. If they will not run, they agency destroys them completely by magnetically degaussing them. In both cases, the hard drives are disposed of. "You’re not supposed to keep them around," the source says. "You destroy the data."

Initially I thought this story wasn't quite as big as it first seemed -- this was just an IRS IT source telling Eliana Johnson what is routinely done with hard drives, not what was done in this very non-routine situation.

But now the IRS is telling Senators that indeed the hard drive has been "thrown away."

Incredible.


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posted by Ace at 12:39 PM

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