After months of unsuccessful attempts to badger the IRS into handing over Lois Lerner's supposedly lost emails, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is proposing a last, desperate measure: calling in the nerds and geeks.
"These things are backed up," he said on Fox News. "I believe we need to bring in the nerds, bring in the tech geeks, and I think they will show and demonstrate that we can recover these emails. At least I'd like to try."
It's unclear if even nerds and geeks would have any luck against the IRS's defense systems. IRS officials continue to insist that Lerner's computer crashed, and more recently, that her Blackberry was "wiped clean."
Still, some have hope that backup files exist somewhere, and that people with technical know-how should be able to find them. Last week, Judicial Watch said an IRS lawyer said that all Lerner's communications should be backed up somewhere.
That prompted Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton to declare that "there's no such thing as Lois Lerner's lost emails."
But if that's true, the IRS is not giving any signal that is has deployed any nerds — or any geeks for that matter — to find them. According to Judicial Watch, the IRS believes it is too difficult to extract them from the backup system.
Chaffetz said on Fox News that the attitude of the IRS is consistent with the IRS's position as an agency that doesn't want to hand over any information to Congress. Like other Republicans, Chaffetz said the IRS has continues to conveniently lose information that Congress is requesting about the IRS targeting scandal, including by reports of crashed computers and other devices.
"Is that just all a coincidence? Are we just supposed to believe that that just spontaneously happened?" he asked. "That is just absolutely, fundamentally wrong, if not an obstruction of Congress."
Chaffetz also said a special counsel needs to be established at the Department of Justice.
"There needs to be a special prosecutor in order to get to the bottom of this. And I would remind everybody that back in May of this year, we had a vote in the United States Congress — twenty-six Democrats joined us calling for a special prosecutor."