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IT Boss at IRS 'Blown Away' After Learning What Happened to Backup Tapes Likely Containing Lerner Emails: Report

"Blown away"

In this May 22, 2013, file photo, then-IRS official Lois Lerner is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Oversight Committee hearing to investigate the extra scrutiny IRS gave to tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. The House is preparing to vote May 7, on holding Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify at a pair of committee hearings about her role in the agency's tea party controversy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

When the chief technology officer at the IRS learned the backup tapes likely containing emails to and from Lois Lerner were destroyed, he was “blown away,” according to a 1,600-page report prepared by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that was leaked to Fox News.

Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the scandalous targeting conservative groups, has maintained that her hard drive “crashed” and many of her emails were simply lost. This was after congressional investigators asked her to turn the emails over.

When lawmakers pressed on, they learned the backup tapes likely containing Lerner’s emails had been “magnetically erased” in 2014.

Even with the suspicious circumstances surrounding Lerner’s emails, the internal IG report, which was reportedly reviewed by Fox News, asserts that investigators uncovered “no evidence that the IRS and its employees purposely erased the tapes in order to conceal” information.

In addition to telling the IG’s office that he was “blown away” by the tax agency’s handling of the backup tapes, IRS Chief Technology Officer Terry Milholland also confirmed that the tapes “were destroyed as a result of IRS management.”

Further, the IRS “did not fully identify as a source or perform recovery attempts” for Lerner’s emails and and as many as 24,000 emails “may not have been provided to Congress,” according to the report. The internal IG report is not expected to be released to the public.

Democratic lawmakers have claimed Republicans' investigation into the IRS scandal is politically motivated and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Read the full report via Fox News here.

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