Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told FoxNews Monday that attorneys for the IRS have admitted that all of the supposedly lost emails from former IRS employee Lois Lerner are backed up, and that the IRS has not admitted this because they say it would be too hard to dig them out of these backed up files.
“A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington,” Fitton said.
“So everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, missing emails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration… it’s all been a pack of malarky,” he said. “They could get these records but they don’t want to.”
“There’s no such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing emails,” he added. “It’s all been a big lie. They’ve been lying to the courts, the American people, and to Congress.”
Judicial Watch has been pursuing its own investigation of the IRS targeting scandal, and was told that Lerner’s emails still exist by lawyers during that process.
Congress has also been seeking emails from Lerner, who was at the center of the IRS effort to apply extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. But IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and others have said repeatedly that Lerner’s hard drive crashed, and that more than two years’ worth of her emails are lost.
Officials have also said emails from several other IRS officials are missing as well.
Judicial Watch learned this information from declarations to the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia from two IRS IT officials.
One of them, Stephen Manning, said there is “no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any Blackberry device assigned to Lois Lerner in response to the congressional investigations or this litigation.”
Cause of Action Director Dan Epstein also blasted the IRS on Monday for failing to run basic searches on Lerner’s Blackberry for the lost emails.
“The IRS knew Lerner’s hard drive was not recoverable while the blackberry was operating,” he said. “This should have triggered a search and preservation of the blackberry contents – but the IRS failed to do that.”
Fitton said his next step would be to explore how the IRS has been able to hide the fact that they are in possession of Lerner’s emails, after telling Congress numerous times that the emails are gone.
“We’ve asked the Department of Justice that same thing,” Fitton said. “We want to know why they hadn’t told the court about this backup system.”
“If this backup system is working, then Lois Lerner’s emails are there,” he said.